“Managed cloud” isn’t a term that’s caught on as much as IaaS, SaaS or hybrid cloud services. Maybe that’s because it isn’t offered by straight-up cloud services providers — it’s supplied, more often than not, by managed services providers, whose longer list of solution offerings might overshadow their ability to deliver secure, custom-fit cloud services. A few key reasons exist for adopting cloud services through a managed services provider.
1. They know about more than just cloud services
IT providers that supply managed services know how to make sense of disparate IT environments, legacy applications and old infrastructure. Their technology knowledge will extend beyond cloud to unified communications, mobile solutions, desktop optimisation and additional solutions that you might want to integrate with cloud services. With a managed services provider, you will likely get a more available, reliable cloud, in addition to best-practice, enterprise-level technology and delivery methods. Think about it: Does it make sense to deploy your cloud services through a cloud company that’s only been around for two years, or a full-scale IT provider that’s been around for 20?
2. Support from experts
Your cloud needs monitoring, maintenance, security checks, patches — and the list goes on. Who better to provide these services for you than a managed services provider with certified, experienced security experts and its own local data centres? A managed services provider with multiple solution offerings also means you can leverage an array of skill sets when needed. Perhaps you want to wrap a larger managed services contract around your cloud service and take advantage of desktop support and volume licensing. A cloud services provider can’t do this; a managed services provider can.
3. Integration, not interruption
Pure cloud services providers might know how to design and deliver your cloud, but not much else. Without a holistic approach to implementing cloud services, you might introduce serious business risks into your deployment. You might even wind up with the wrong cloud delivery model if you go with a cloud services provider that hasn’t taken the time to get to know your business and understand the full IT picture. A managed services IT provider, on the other hand, will do this work and offer a cloud solution that folds into you overall business-IT strategy.
4. Customised, scalable solutions
Many cloud services providers only offer off-the-shelf SLAs and contracts. That’s not the best way to keep your business agile. The way to get the most out of your cloud is through the ability to leverage economies of scale and on-demand resources with a tailored contract. Features such as flexible contracts with 90-day exit clauses and customisable SLAs are offered through the best managed services providers.
There are even more benefits to be had when electing cloud services through a managed services provider. When considering cloud, shop carefully before you buy, and linger in the aisle where the managed services providers are on display.