When smaller enterprises first dip their toes into the cloud, they often select an “out of the box” solution that can address their immediate needs, or until they “figure out the company’s cloud strategy.” What is intended to be a short-term solution ends up being a long-term Band-Aid. Before they know it, IT teams are dealing with cloud sprawl, a patchwork of cloud solutions purchased by business departments without their knowledge (we’re looking at you, Marketing). But sooner or later, organizations realize that their original cloud investment can’t handle their business growth, performance issues or compliance requirements. Combining a robust cloud infrastructure with a hands-on managed hosting services provider is often the best solution. HOSTING offers five reasons why you need to consider managed hosting services.
Cloud migration expertise
Many companies discover after investing in DIY cloud solutions that they need help migrating their data and applications to another cloud environment. And any IT exec will confess that their internal teams don’t have the time or expertise to go through a thorough audit and discovery process necessary to craft a custom cloud migration plan. Nor do they have the bandwidth to implement and test one.
Cloud migration experts possess a unique combination of cloud engineering and traditional IT. If a company has engaged with a cloud service “newbie” – one that started five or so years ago – it’s unlikely that they will have a solid understanding of their clients’ legacy systems. As a result, they may not know which data and applications need to be stored in a private cloud, or how to realize cost efficiencies via a hybrid cloud solution.
Healthcare organizations are the favored target of cyber criminals, with organizations such as Anthem experiencing massive data breaches. Security is the number one concern of CIOs and CTOs in 2015. However, while some cloud providers such as Amazon guarantee the security of the physical infrastructure, the customer is responsible for security “in” the cloud. This “shared responsibility” model can put companies lacking cloud security expertise at risk for potential cyberattacks. Companies that want to ensure the safety and availability of their data and applications should consider engaging with a managed hosting services provider that has a dedicated team of information security experts available 24 x 7 x 365. They should also ask a potential provider for the results of their own security audits.
In addition to implementing specific security measures, many companies are required to meet specific compliance regulations as prescribed by HIPAA/HITECH, PCI DSS and SOX. However, these requirements often entail a level of monitoring, reporting and data storage that most internal IT teams lack the experience and expertise to manage. Some compliance regulations such as HIPAA are more prescriptive – leaving companies struggling to understand what action they need to take in order to maintain a strong compliance posture. As a result, they can fall out of compliance unintentionally, exposing themselves to strict fines.
Some managed hosting services providers have dedicated teams of compliance experts, led by a Chief Information Security Officer. A few of them even offer managed compliance services that enable organizations to track their compliance stance on an ongoing basis, addressing any potential issues as they arise. Finally, a scant number readily sign Business Associates Agreements (BAAs) with their clients and support them during their annual compliance audits.
Many cloud providers offer a certain level of uptime, however, not all them offer 100% uptime. For companies whose business requires an “always on” environment, they need to engage with a managed hosting services provider that offers service level agreements (SLAs) with guaranteed uptimes. These SLAs should also include financial penalties that are levied on the provider in the event that they don’t meet specific uptime requirements.
While most cloud providers claim to have the industry’s best customer service, a managed hosting services provider can often provide various levels of support to meet an organization’s specific needs. For example, HOSTING has dedicated teams of Tier 2 and Tier 3 support experts available round the cloud via a variety of communication tools – phone, email, chat and the HOSTING Customer Portal™.
Beyond day-to-day support, managed hosting services providers can provide technology guidance and planning to support a company’s evolving cloud environment.
Looking for a managed hosting services provider to “right-size” your cloud environment? HOSTING cloud experts help companies scale their cloud environments to meet their evolving business needs. Download our complimentary white paper, 20 Questions to Ask When Selecting a Cloud Service Provider for more information.