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Moving to the Cloud: 5 “Must Have” Areas of Expertise When Choosing an MSP

Part 1: 4 Indicators Your MSP Has Cloud Migration Expertise

Nick Cavalancia

As a Managed IT Services Provider (MSP), we help all kinds of clients with their move to the cloud. The cloud offers organizations like yours so many possible solutions, that it’s easy to either become overwhelmed or to eventually find out you’ve made the wrong choice.This is where an MSP can step in to help.

Internal IT teams that are great at supporting the on-premises parts of your business technology often lack the experience and expertise to best align your technology needs with all that the cloud offers. It often makes sense to partner with an MSP to plan, architect, implement, migrate, and manage the parts of your operations that will be moved to the cloud.

When it comes to moving some part of your operations to the cloud, expertise in cloud migrations is indispensable. After all, you’re taking your business somewhere it’s never been, so it’s imperative to involve an expert partner to be your guide. You need to find one that has the experience and, therefore, can provide a safe and secure result.

In the first of a five-part blog series, we will cover five specific areas of expertise you should be looking for in an MSP to help you move to the cloud. Today we’ll start with what should be the most obvious area of expertise – moving organizations to the cloud. Because each organization’s journey to the cloud is somewhat unique, it’s important that the partner you choose has done more than a few migrations of, say, email to the cloud.

What should you be looking for to find an MSP that has expertise in migrating to the cloud?

There are a number of indicators that signify an MSP is the right one to assist your business in moving to the cloud:

  • They’ve Done This Plenty of Times – The cloud has been around long enough that it’s very feasible to find a partner with hundreds of migrations under their belt. The right partner should have a portfolio of successful cloud-related projects to demonstrate their expertise.
  • They’ve Done This for Businesses Like Yours – Some MSPs focus on a particular customer demographic; a particular industry vertical, size of organization, or scope of on-premises or remote workforces. It’s important that the MSP you select has experience with moving businesses like yours to the cloud. This indicates they have an understanding of what’s important to your business, which applications likely are involved, and how the cloud will positively and negatively impact your operations.
  • They’ve Done All Kinds of Moves to the Cloud – Moving to the cloud looks different for every organization. For certain organizations, it is a little more than shifting from an on-premises version of an application to one in the cloud, requiring the migration of data. For some, moving involves the simple migration of virtual machines into a hosted environment. And for others, it’s a complex mix of moving workloads, industry-specific applications, data, and client machines. The right MSP should have proven expertise solving challenges similar to yours.
  • They’ve Planned Long-Term Cloud Strategies – Moving to the cloud changes the way you operate, so it’s critical that the MSP you use has more than just expertise in moving some or all of an organization’s operations. Instead, they have experience working with clients to determine how moving various parts of their business to the cloud fits into the organization’s operational strategy and goals. Their vast experience and expertise enable them to look beyond your immediate needs and are consider how today’s move to the cloud will impact you tomorrow.

When interviewing MSPs, you should focus on asking questions that revolve around these four indicators. MSPs interested in truly partnering with you should be eager to share what they’ve done in an effort to put you at ease, instill a sense of confidence, and to establish a degree of transparency around what you need and what they can do.

In our next blog, we will focus on Application Expertise, discussing why it’s important as part of moving to the cloud, and what to look for in an MSP so you can be certain they can assist.

For more information on defining how your organization should move to the cloud, read the whitepaper Defining Your Journey to the Cloud.