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Cloud Managed Services 101

The cloud offers massive benefits, but you have to do it right.

From cost optimization to strategy, here’s what it takes to find the
right managed service provider and succeed with the cloud.

Cloud Managed Services 101

The cloud offers massive benefits, but you have to do it right.

Is the cloud working for you?

Or are you working for the cloud?

 

Everyone is moving to the cloud. But it’s not the right model for every system.

To make matters more complicated, midmarket companies don’t always have the experts on staff to manage cloud systems effectively. They may not know which systems they should migrate to the cloud, and which they should keep on premises—let alone how to optimize costs on an ongoing basis.

These are three of the biggest reasons to work with a cloud managed services company.

Whether you choose to outsource or manage systems in-house, there are lots of pitfalls to avoid. And when it comes to cloud managed services providers, not all companies are created equal.

Here’s everything you need to know to succeed.

Contents

1. What are cloud managed services?

Cloud managed services are outsourced services provided by a partner who supports and maintains a client’s cloud-hosted systems and infrastructure. This includes day-to-day support activities, routine maintenance, and emergency support, as well as strategic planning for required upgrades.

Cloud managed service providers typically offer other services too, such as support for on-premises infrastructure. Some may also offer managed cyber security services, although it’s rare to find a company that truly provides comprehensive coverage for cybersecurity and managed cloud services.

Hint: Here at Corsica Technologies, we do it all—from cloud to cybersecurity to digital transformation. We take a “cybersecurity-first” approach, which means you get security baked into every technology initiative. That’s essential in today’s threat landscape.

Cloud managed services - What's included - Corsica Technologies

What services are typically included in managed cloud?

Cloud systems management encompasses numerous types of services applied to some (or all) covered systems. Here are the most common ones.

  • Cloud strategy consulting
  • Cloud migration services
  • Reverse cloud migration (or “repatriation”—see the Cloud Strategy section below)
  • Cloud system monitoring and reporting
  • Cloud security services

What systems are covered by cloud managed services?

Any system that can be hosted in the cloud can be managed by a service provider. Here are some of the most common cloud systems that companies choose to manage with a third party.

  • Company networks
  • Essential databases
  • Enterprise applications (ERP, MRP, etc.)
  • File hosting and email
  • Department-specific applications
  • Customer-facing applications (customer portal, ecommerce, etc.)

Cloud systems management - Specialized skills needed - Corsica Technologies

Specialist skills needed for cloud systems management

It’s a common myth that cloud systems require fewer professional resources. In fact, managing cloud systems takes just as much effort as managing on-premises systems. The difference is in the skillset required. Though the skills may partially overlap, cloud systems management really is its own beast.

Here are the skills that the best cloud professionals have.

1. Deep knowledge of programming languages used in cloud systems. From Python to JavaScript, PHP to .NET, there are numerous languages used in cloud applications. A good cloud systems manager will have familiarity with the appropriate languages.

2. Deep knowledge of cloud database management. From data structures to data analysis, SQL to NoSQL, an experienced cloud technician knows their way around databases.

 

Cloud migrations, done right.

“Because of Corsica, we didn’t miss a beat. We stayed open for our clients, and that’s a huge deal for us.”

—Dana McConnell, Executive Director

See case study →

 

3. Deep knowledge of cloud service platforms. From AWS to Azure to Google Cloud Platform, cloud systems managers need to know their way around the most common platforms for cloud hosting.

4. Deep knowledge of cloud security. Threats against cloud systems are always evolving, and committed cloud technicians should know cloud security inside and out—particularly as it differs from on-premises cybersecurity.

5. Deep knowledge of APIs (application programming interfaces). Cloud systems can’t interact or pass data back and forth without some form of integration. APIs provide these links between systems. Even if your cloud technicians don’t design or implement APIs, they should have some familiarity so they can troubleshoot them.

6. Deep knowledge of Linux. With approximately 90% of the public cloud workload running on Linux, this operating system is an essential tool in the kit for modern cloud technicians.

7. DevOps experience. DevOps (development operations) is the practice of aligning development activities across the software development lifecycle to deliver better results faster (and more efficiently). It brings structure to complex, multi-party tasks and allows for checkpoints at appropriate places in the process. If your cloud technicians are dealing with applications, DevOps experience is a must.

8. Familiarity with AI and ML (machine learning). Today’s cloud environments are more complex than ever, and organizations are seeking the efficiency gains that AI and ML can offer. Cloud technicians with knowledge of these technologies can advise on configurations and implementations that drive greater efficiency.

9. Knowledge of hybrid cloud best practices. Not every system is right for hosting in the public cloud. A solid cloud consultant can advise on the best cloud strategy for your organization (more on that below).

10. Experience with cloud cost analysis. Not every system is right for the cloud, period, whether private or public cloud. A seasoned cloud consultant can assist with detailed cost analysis to determine where the greatest value lies.

11. Thrives in an environment of constant change. On-premises systems only change when admins execute changes. In contrast, cloud environments may scale and re-configure automatically according to changing workloads and resource availability. Solid cloud technicians easily thrive in an environment of continuous change.

This list isn’t exhaustive. To understand what skillsets may be required to maintain your cloud environment, you should contact a managed cloud provider and ask them to audit the systems in question. You might be surprised at what you find!

2. Defining your cloud strategy

Cloud technology has changed the world. Yet just because you can host a system in the cloud doesn’t mean you should.

Some systems are ideal for cloud hosting. Some aren’t.

The key is to understand your unique needs, compare them with what the market offers, and make the right decision for your organization.

In other words, you need a solid cloud strategy before you migrate a single system to the cloud.

 

8 essential questions to help define your cloud strategy

Cloud strategy is a complex topic, and there’s no right answer that works for every company. Whether you’re developing your strategy on your own or working with a managed service provider, here are some essential questions to help uncover your needs.

  1. Where do we want to be in 3 years when it comes to cloud technology?
  2. What benefits do we gain by migrating this system to the cloud—both in the short term and the long term?
  3. What costs will we incur by migrating this system to the cloud—both in the short term and the long term?
  4. In general, do we prefer to minimize capex (capital expenses) or opex (operating expenses) when it comes to essential systems and infrastructure?
  5. How do most organizations in our industry handle this particular system? Do they host it in the cloud or on premises? Should we follow this norm as a best practice, or does our unique situation require a different approach?
  6. How will we support our cloud systems? (Note that cloud systems don’t require fewer professional resources, but rather a different skillset.)
  7. Will a managed cloud provider offer better value and knowledge continuity than in-house hiring?
  8. How will we analyze cloud costs, optimize our usage, and plan for our future requirements? 

 

Cloud strategy - Defining your path - Corsica Technologies

Serving the right systems in the cloud

The key to cloud strategy is to serve the right systems in the cloud. Unfortunately, not every organization has the data they need to make informed decisions.

In fact, we’re seeing a trend in which some organizations have over-rotated to the cloud. The mystique of the cloud is a serious factor that can lead to non-optimal decisions. Like anything else, cloud delivery comes with benefits and drawbacks—yet “cloud mystique” tends to emphasize the benefits alone.

This has led some organizations to reconsider and even dismantle their cloud investments. This phenomenon, called cloud repatriation or reverse migration, is gaining some momentum in the IT world. And cost is the biggest driver.

It’s worth analyzing your cloud strategy from this perspective. Are there any systems that you may end up reverse-migrating due to a cost model that you can’t justify? If that’s the case, cloud delivery may not be the right fit for that system. And it’s better to find out now than two years later.

If you’re not sure, an experienced technology consultant can help you connect the needs of your organization with best practices and the latest in technology for both on-premises and cloud options. Ultimately, you want to implement a cloud system because the business case is strong and clear, not because cloud is getting a lot of hype.

A special note on cloud security strategy

While cybersecurity best practices are always evolving, cloud security requires special attention. Cloud systems have unique security strengths and weaknesses when compared to on-premises alternatives. Your cloud strategy should place cybersecurity at the foundation of every cloud system.

Specifically, you’ll want to make sure your cloud strategy deals appropriately with these common cloud security myths:

  • Cloud systems are “secure enough” out of the box (Hint: They’re not!)
  • Cloud systems reduce the need for cybersecurity expertise (Hint: They don’t!)
  • It’s OK to use different service providers for cloud systems and cybersecurity (Hint: It’s not a good idea!)
  • If an MSP says they handle cybersecurity, then you’re covered (Hint: You need to read the fine print!)

Read more here: Cloud Security Myths Busted.

Getting help with your cloud strategy

Cloud strategy is complex, and the right answers may not be obvious. Midmarket organizations may lack the resources to define a robust cloud strategy that’s tailored to the needs of both internal users and customers.

A cloud strategy consultant can help. The right consultant will know your industry as well as the latest technology on the market. As they immerse themselves in your organization, they can connect their knowledge with the unique ins and outs of your operations, providing personalized guidance that you can’t get any other way.

Hint: Here at Corsica Technologies, we advise our clients on the right cloud strategy for their organization. Our vCIOs (virtual CIOs) work directly with clients to connect their needs with technology opportunities. The result is a 3-year technology roadmap that the vCIO maintains in collaboration with the client. This ensures there are no surprises when it comes to cloud strategy and cybersecurity.

3. Choosing the right cloud migration strategy

You believe that a certain system may need to move to the cloud. Now what? How do determine the path forward?

This is a great question. Broadly speaking, there are 7 types of cloud migration strategy.  

Cloud migration strategies - the 7 Rs - Corsica Technologies

The 7 Rs of cloud migration

AWS provides an inventory of cloud migration strategies to help you pinpoint the right approach. It’s known as the “7 R’s,” building on Gartner’s original “5 R’s.” Those 7 strategies are:

  1. Retire. If an application has reached the end of its usable life, and it’s no longer aligned with business requirements, migrating that application may be the wrong choice. In this case, it’s time to retire the application rather than modernize it.
  2. Retain. Even if an application isn’t end-of-life, there may not be a strong business case to migrate it—or a migration may introduce net-new risk that isn’t tolerable. In these cases, you may choose to retain the application in its current delivery model rather than migrating it.
  3. Rehost. Also known as “forklifting” or “lift and shift,” this strategy involves replicating the architecture of an entire on-premises system in a cloud environment. This strategy needs careful consideration and a strong business case, as hosting servers in the cloud (rather than services) gets expensive fast.
  4. Relocate. If a system is already cloud-hosted, but you need to change to a different cloud environment with the same provider, you may choose to relocate those systems.
  5. Repurchase. If you already license the on-premises version of an application, and the vendor offers an out-of-the-box cloud version, you may choose to migrate to the cloud version through repurchasing.
  6. Replatform. You may choose to move an application to the cloud while also optimizing it to take better advantage of cloud features. This strategy often makes sense if the application architecture doesn’t need to be refactored, but you do want to leverage cloud advantages, like better cybersecurity controls.
  7. Refactor or re-architect. In some cases, moving a legacy monolithic application to the cloud doesn’t make sense—yet you need to move to the cloud to leverage the advantages that come with it. Refactoring or rearchitecting the application allows you to take advantage of cloud-native capabilities, making the application more agile, scalable, and “cloud ready” from the start.

Cloud transformation pitfalls

A cloud migration is a complex undertaking. It’s not a simple yes/no question—and it helps to have some experience with these types of projects. (Hint: That’s one of the biggest reasons to engage a cloud managed services provider.)

Broadly speaking, here are several common pitfalls of cloud migrations.

  • Choosing a solution that’s bigger than the problem
  • Biting off more than you can chew
  • Moving too fast
  • Not engaging an experienced cloud leader
  • Bringing an on-premises mindset to the cloud
  • Underestimating the staffing requirements to support the cloud

The key here is to overturn every stone. You need to develop a rock-solid business case that captures the nuance of the situation. Why migrate this system to the cloud? Which migration strategy are you recommending—and why?

These are tough questions to answer if you don’t have cloud migration experience. The good news is that a cloud managed services provider can help.

4. Types of cloud managed services

The different cloud delivery models can get confusing. How is private cloud different from on premises? How is hybrid cloud different from multi-cloud?

Here’s what you need to know.

On premises vs. private cloud vs. public cloud

  • On premises means the network runs on dedicated hardware that the organization owns and manages onsite.
  • Private cloud means the network runs on dedicated, rented hardware owned by a cloud provider. Your organization is the only client using the hardware.
  • Public cloud means the network runs on shared hardware owned by a cloud provider. Your organization is not the only client using the hardware.

Hybrid cloud vs. multi-cloud

  • Hybrid cloud refers to the practice of using both private cloud and public cloud resources. It may also refer to using both cloud and on premises resources.
  • Multi-cloud refers to the practice of using cloud resources from multiple public cloud providers.

Every type of cloud hosting has its own unique requirements when it comes to managed services. Your managed services provider should have a full understanding of the nuances. Here’s what that looks like.

A) Managed private cloud services

Since private cloud hosting is all about your organization, a good service provider should understand your organization and industry thoroughly. You should also make sure you get the level of monitoring and support required by the system(s) hosted in your private cloud.

B) Managed public cloud services

A good provider should have thorough knowledge of your public cloud provider(s), as evidenced by numerous clients using the provider(s).

Hybrid Cloud Management Services - Corsica Technologies

C) Hybrid cloud management

Things get more complicated once you start mixing private and public cloud delivery (or cloud and on-premises). Hybrid cloud management requires a service provider who understands your mixed environment thoroughly. Your provider should also have deep expertise to advise on cost management—which gets challenging in a hybrid environment—as well as hybrid cloud data management. A background in systems integration and APIs is helpful here too.

D) Multi-cloud management

Your provider should have demonstrated expertise with each public cloud that you use. They should also bring to the table a strong background in multi-cloud data management and identity management, as these practices get complicated in a multi-cloud environment.

Comprehensive cloud management… or filling your gaps?

When it comes to internal IT resources, every organization is different. You may have some cloud expertise on staff, or none at all.

As you evaluate different mixes of cloud hosting, you’ll want to think about where your cloud managed services provider will fit. Do you need comprehensive management—not only for cloud systems, but for on-premises systems too? Or do you need a flexible partner who will fill the gaps in your team without taking over?

There’s no right answer here, but the right provider should adapt to your needs. 

5. AWS vs. Azure vs. Google Cloud Platform

If you don’t already have systems hosted in the public cloud, you may want to consult with your cloud managed services provider before you pick a platform. Each option has different strengths and weaknesses. Your provider can align your needs with the features of the right platform.

At a high level, here’s how AWS, Azure, and Google compare.

AWS in a nutshell

AWS is the big player in terms of market share, although the hosting giant is losing some ground to Microsoft. Cybersecurity and uptime are top-notch, while hybrid cloud implementations may be more challenging. Because AWS can be overwhelming, most organizations maximize their value by engaging a service provider to manage AWS on their behalf.

Microsoft Azure in a nutshell

While Microsoft Azure may not lead in market share (yet), it’s the ideal choice for companies that already use Microsoft. Azure offers numerous integrations to other Microsoft products and services, and migration paths are clearly defined and documented. 

A managed service provider for Azure should have a strong consulting background in the Microsoft space to advise on your Azure strategy. They should also know Microsoft products inside and out. Bonus points if they can help you maximize the value of your Microsoft licensing!

Google Cloud Platform in a nutshell

If your organization needs integrations with other Google products and services, Cloud Platform is a great choice. It also offers robust big data analytics—which makes sense, given Google’s expertise in search algorithms and AI. However, Google Cloud Platform doesn’t offer as many services as Azure or AWS.

Choosing a managed service provider for AWS, Azure, or Google

At a high level, the right cloud managed services provider will know your use case and your technology inside and out. They should have familiarity with:

  • Your industry
  • The right public cloud provider for your use case(s)
  • The business processes that will be supported by cloud systems
  • Cost optimization strategies

We’ll cover all of this in more detail below.

6. Cloud security managed services

Security is an essential part of cloud managed services. However, it’s worth pulling out the managed security aspect and examining it in detail. Cloud network security comes with unique challenges and opportunities that aren’t found in on-premises scenarios.

Cloud security managed services - Corsica Technologies

Cloud network security in a nutshell

Since cloud networks are internet-accessible by design, they require unique cybersecurity controls. Here are some of the common cloud security risks addressed by managed services.  

  • Account hijacking. Internet accessibility comes with a unique risk of account hijacking. Cloud security services include managing user access, enabling MFA, and monitoring logs for suspicious activity.

  • Zero-day vulnerabilities. Cloud systems are constantly updated to introduce new features, address bugs, and fix security issues. However, there’s always the possibility that a zero-day vulnerability (an unknown weakness not yet exploited by hackers) will occur in a new release. Cloud security requires managing and monitoring systems for unusual traffic and responding quickly if a zero-day vulnerability is discovered.

  • Insecure APIs. APIs (application programming interfaces) provide the connective tissue between cloud systems (and between cloud and on-premises systems). If they aren’t kept up to date and secure, they can provide an entry point to a cloud system for a hacker.

  • Malware. If a threat actor gains access to a cloud system, they can install malware that deletes data, encrypts a system and holds it for ransom, and more.

  • Data loss. Not all cloud systems come with built-in backup processes. Even those that do may not have the best backup capabilities out of the box. This is why backup and disaster recovery services are an essential part of cloud system management.

  • Insider threats. It’s difficult to detect a malicious inside actor before they execute an attack. However, adhering to the principle of least privilege can help mitigate insider threats against cloud systems. This means making sure that every user has only the permissions they need—nothing more.

  • Non-compliance with regulation. Depending on your industry, you may have to comply with cybersecurity regulation—and your cloud systems may or may not be compliant out of the box. Typically, you’ll need a managed service provider to address cloud security from the perspective of regulatory compliance.

  • Default configuration. Cloud systems rarely come with optimized security configurations out of the box. They usually need a thoughtful look and configuration from cloud security experts. This ensures that your systems are as secure as possible.

Cloud network security measures seek to mitigate these risks (and more). While it’s impossible to achieve 100% bulletproof security, the right cloud services partner can ensure your network is protected and monitored in alignment with the latest in best practices.

Ideally, you should find a partner who not only provides cybersecurity alerts, but actually contains threats rather than passing the buck. The holy grail here is a provider who offers a guarantee covering the cost of their services for remediation. Learn more here: Corsica’s Cybersecurity Service Guarantee.

Multi-cloud security

A multi-cloud architecture is one in which a company hosts interconnected systems among multiple public cloud vendors, creating a single cohesive architecture. As you can imagine, this creates some unique cybersecurity requirements!

Here are the most common challenges in multi-cloud security.

  • Access management. How do you ensure that every user account access across multiple public cloud providers? The more providers you work with, the more difficult it is to keep track of user permissions. This is one area where a cloud managed services provider really excels. They can manage user access for you, ensuring every account has the appropriate permissions.

  • Incident detection and response. How do you monitor every cloud system in real time? If that’s not hard enough, how do you detect an incident on any cloud system—and then respond? Solutions like managed SIEM (security information and event management) and MDR (managed detection and response) give your cloud technicians visibility into your entire architecture, even if you’re working with multiple cloud providers. For organizations that don’t have the staffing resources to handle this, a managed service provider can provide the necessary expertise at a highly affordable cost.

  • Misconfigured settings. It’s a common myth that cloud systems are “secure enough” out of the box. While cloud systems come with robust security capabilities, you really have to get your configurations right for your business and your users. A managed service provider knows the ins and outs of cloud security best practices. They can connect those recommendations with the requirements of your industry and your operations.

  • Regulatory compliance. Depending on your industry and what type of information you handle, there may be regulation that applies to your multi-cloud architecture. It’s essential to understand what this regulation means for your organization. A cloud consultant can ensure that you’re managing your cloud systems in a way that’s compliant.

  • Managing multiple vendors. Any time you introduce redundancy into systems and operations, new security risks can arise. There’s simply more to keep track of. A cloud services provider can manage your vendors on your behalf, optimizing your usage and security while getting you the best price (more on that below).

Hybrid cloud security

A hybrid-cloud architecture is one in which systems are hosted with a mixture of cloud and on-premises delivery, or a mixture of public and private cloud. (The term “hybrid cloud” is used for both, even though they’re a little different.)

In both cases, hybrid cloud security comes with the same challenges as multi-cloud (see above)—plus several unique challenges.

1. Complexity. On-premises architecture comes with its own challenges—and so does cloud delivery. Once you start mixing them, your security management becomes that much more complex. Add the fact that you need different skillsets handling cloud and on-premises, and it’s challenging to manage hybrid cloud security in-house. This is one of the biggest reasons midmarket firms choose a managed provider to help.  

2. Lack of comprehensive cybersecurity visibility. With a mix of cloud and on-premises systems, it’s far more difficult to get a complete picture of your attack surface. Solutions like SIEM and MDR are essential, yet most midmarket organizations don’t have the staff resources to monitor and respond to the threats that these solutions detect. This is one important area where a cloud managed services provider can help.

3. Insecure APIs and integrations. The more complex your hybrid cloud architecture, the more complex your integrations—and the more potential there is for error. Cloud security experts ensure your APIs and integrations are configured appropriately, conforming to the latest in best practices as well as regulatory compliance.

4. Supply chain vulnerabilities. If cyber criminals can gain access to a system that has access to other systems, then they can move beyond the first system to broaden the attack. This is called a supply-chain attack. Hybrid cloud security requires careful management of integrations and access between systems to prevent this type of vulnerability.

5. Lack of skilled talent. The skillset required for cloud security management is a little different from on-premises. Existing staff who specialize in one may not be equipped to manage the other. This is yet another reason to engage a cloud services provider who has a full team specializing in both.

7. Cloud cost optimization

No doubt about it, cloud hosting gets expensive—fast.

From scaling workloads to spikes in traffic and the need for new environments, it’s tough to optimize your cloud costs. In fact, there are several common pitfalls that we see.

  • Trying to replicate your entire on-premises architecture in the cloud
  • Not analyzing your cloud options strategically
  • Getting locked into the wrong cloud contract
  • Not monitoring costs under a fluctuating pricing arrangement
  • Not understanding modern application architecture
  • Not analyzing total cost of ownership vs. on-premises

As you can see, there’s quite a bit to know about cloud cost optimization!

Cloud cost optimization - Managing cloud resources well - Corsica Technologies

Luckily, you can manage these costs so you provide the resources your organization needs without wasting money. The key is to optimize cloud costs continuously with rigorous techniques. Here are the top optimization tactics that we recommend and implement for clients.

  1. Ditch the server mindset. Think in terms of services Cloud services run on an as-needed basis, which is far cheaper than bankrolling cloud servers.

  2. Don’t replicate unnecessary systems in your disaster recovery architecture. Keep it lean, and you’ll keep cloud costs down when the unthinkable happens. Another trick here is to back up your servers in Azure, for example, but not turn them on until you need them.

  3. Ask your self if onpremises is actually better for a given system. Believe it or not, some systems are better served from your own hardware. A cloud cost optimization specialist can help you determine the right plan—which may be a hybrid cloud approach.

  4. Monitor cloud costs regularly. If you’re using a fluctuating pricing plan, you want to check those prices at specific intervals. You don’t have to do it continuously, but you do need a cadence for reviewing costs and making strategic decisions.

8. What to look for in a managed cloud provider

While many service providers claim to have cloud expertise, it pays to get selective. You want a partner who will save you money and keep you secure, doing both on a continual basis.

Cloud managed services provider - Corsica Technologies

Here are the 9 most important things to look for.

  1. C-level cloud consulting expertise. If you don’t have that C-level executive on staff who knows cloud strategy inside and out, you should look for a partner who can fill that gap.

  2. Specialized cloud expertise for solution engineering, implementation, support, and ongoing strategic review. This skillset is different from on-premises infrastructure management, so make sure your provider has a deep bench of cloud specialists.

  3. Manages cybersecurity as well as cloud services. Every cloud system needs to have the proper cybersecurity controls implemented. But cybersecurity isn’t a “set it and forget it” discipline. You need a managed provider who can review the security of your cloud systems on a continual basis. Ideally, you should also find a provider who offers managed cybersecurity services alongside cloud services. This ensures you get a single team handling all things cloud and cybersecurity—including 24/7/365 monitoring, threat eradication, employee awareness training, and more.

  4. Expertise with your chosen cloud provider(s). Whether you’re doing AWS, Azure, or Google—or a mix of public and private clouds—your service provider should understand your cloud host(s) inside and out.

  5. Knowledge of your industry. Some managed services providers may approach all cloud systems the same way. But the best providers understand that your industry comes with unique challenges and opportunities. Look for a partner who’s worked with other companies in your vertical. This ensures they have familiarity with unique business processes, applicable cybersecurity regulation, and more.

  6. Can fill your gaps without taking over. Every organization has a different mix of on-staff resources. Some managed service providers will try to take over everything. This can create tension if you have an internal IT team. If you have some IT resources on staff, your ideal partner should take time to understand your gaps (and where their own services fit). They should treat your staff like valued collaborators and work hard to excel at the gaps they fill—rather than trying to take over your entire IT practice. Even if you don’t have any IT resources on staff, your provider should know how to “right-size” your services package so they don’t sell you something much bigger than your needs.

  7. On your side, not “cloud-crazy.” Not every system is a good fit for the cloud. Depending on your preferences for opex (operating expenses) vs. capex (capital expenses), and depending on whether the system needs to run 24/7/365, an on-premises solution (or cloud services, rather than a server) may actually be a better fit. The right managed services provider will help you determine the right hosting model for every system—rather than pushing you to host things in the cloud “just because.” 

  8. Can help you optimize cloud costs. Cloud systems get very expensive, very fast, if they’re running 24/7/365. The right partner will help you optimize costs by planning strategically and reviewing your costs on a regular basis.

  9. Can advise on cloud repatriation if you’re overextended. Sometimes, a cloud migration wasn’t the ideal move. If a cloud system becomes unsustainable, repatriation (reverse migration to an on-premises architecture) may be the right decision. An expert partner can help you evaluate the situation and make the best choice for your organization.

Want to learn more about cloud managed services?

Reach out to schedule a consultation with our cloud technology specialists.