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

Part 3: 5 Reasons Why Cloud Expertise is Critical When Moving to the Cloud

Nick Cavalancia

You’ve decided it’s necessary to move your business operations to the cloud.  But which cloud? Which set of services? After all, the cloud is a big place with lots of choices on how to best run your business.  It’s easy to see even internal IT teams with little cloud experience simply choosing a cloud provider and a set of services because it seems like a viable option and, for some, the right answer.

But is it?

In this third blog in a 5-blog series on Moving to the Cloud: 5 “Must Have” Areas of Expertise When Choosing an MSP, we’re going to look at how MSPs with cloud expertise can make the difference in your move to the cloud.

The cloud can be so overwhelming in its number of vendors, services, acronyms, pricing models, and options, it’s common for organizations to move to the cloud without truly understanding whether their chosen path is best for both today and tomorrow. It’s likely necessary for most organizations that are new to the cloud to utilize an MSP with the skillset to match up the right cloud and services with your needs.

So, if you’re considering partnering with an MSP to guide you in your move to the cloud, there are five reasons why their cloud expertise will come in handy:

  • The Cloud Comes in Many Flavors – There’s public, private, hybrid, and multi-cloud, and once you pick a type of cloud, there are a myriad of vendors each vying for your business.  They all look and feel very similar, with differences being far less obvious because they all tend to use the same terms for services and offerings which, understandably, can cause some confusion. Having an MSP that can translate your business needs into technical requirements will help you determine your proper path to the cloud.
  • Not All Clouds Cost the Same – Those differences are important; just because two cloud providers offer the same services doesn’t mean they are offering you the same outcome at the same cost. Each provider offers commodity services – such as virtual machines to host your soon-to-be-moved on-premises servers. But those virtual servers are usually offered in a tiered pricing model (based on the hardware resources assigned to it) that may not perfectly align when comparing cloud providers.  An MSP can assist you in determining your workload requirements, and help point you towards the right cloud and service.
  • The Cloud Costs You Day 1 – While you benefit from no longer needing to make large, up-front capital purchases, as the cloud simplifies things down to a monthly fee, that payment starts the day you allocate storage, virtual systems, and services. Therefore, it’s important to partner with an MSP that will devise a plan that utilizes your cloud investment as quickly as possible.
  • You Can’t Forget About Security & Compliance – Many organizations have specific requirements to protect their intellectual property, customer data, etc. Every cloud provider will tout they are secure and offer proof of helping meet compliance regulations. However, just because the cloud provider is secure as a foundation for your business, doesn’t mean what you build on that foundation is secure and compliant. Having an expert partner is needed to ensure your data is secure and your operations are compliant.
  • The Right Choice Lies in the Details – Even within a single cloud provider, there are choices to be made.  For example, choosing the wrong tier of storage because it’s less expensive may cost you more because it’s also materially slower and takes longer to retrieve data. The right partner is well-versed in the possible choices that exist and how each can impact your operational performance in the cloud positively or negatively.

You know your business, but MSPs specializing in cloud migrations are experts in the ins-and-outs of how to translate your on-premises operations (with all of its idiosyncrasies, constraints, mandates, and business requirements) into a tailored cloud-based solution.

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