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

Part 5: 4 Reasons Your MSP Relationship is the Most Critical Factor in your Move to the Cloud

Nick Cavalancia

As your organization attempts to figure out how it should best proceed with moving some of its operations to the cloud, it becomes obvious that getting some assistance from a Managed IT Services Provider (MSP) makes sense – particularly if they specialize in cloud migrations.

But there are a lot of MSPs and a lot of folks with technical know-how, so that’s not necessarily where you should be looking to find your differentiators. Sure, you’re going to eliminate those without experience moving organizations to the cloud from your short list, but when it comes to choosing a partner, technical prowess, while important, shouldn’t be the deciding factor.

In this final blog in a 5-part series on Moving to the Cloud: 5 “Must Have” Areas of Expertise When Choosing an MSP, we’re going to look at the one area of expertise that is most critical in helping your organization transition to the cloud: relationships.

In the end, you want more than just an MSP that does; you want one that actually cares. Anyone can move you to the cloud, but an MSP focused on establishing and building a relationship with your organization can help ensure your longer-term goals for the cloud are achieved, making relationship the most critical factor.

With so many MSPs available to help you move to the cloud, there are a few reasons why you should be using one focused on relationships:

  • It’s Not Really About the Cloud - The cloud shouldn’t be the focus; it’s a merely a tool to help you achieve your goals. Your success is the most important factor in any decisions around your cloud initiatives.  Each choice made of which cloud to use, which workloads to move, how quickly to move operations, etc. all need to be done within the context of what’s going to help the organization success both short- and long-term.  An MSP that’s in this for the relationship is solely interested in your success; the cloud is simply the next step phase of your organization’s growth. The MSP that is looking out for your business is the one that isn’t just asking all the technical questions about systems, applications, data, and networks, but also about growth plans, organizational requirements, concerns, and desires.
  • Your Move to the Cloud is Long-Term – While moving, say, a single application to the cloud represents a small project with a finite timeline, your journey to the cloud is going to take months or years to find you fully in the cloud. The right MSP is one that is less concerned about the immediate move and is more focused on helping ensure the move fits within your longer-term corporate strategy.  In building a long-term relationship, your MSP should be a trusted advisor – helping you decide the what, where, and when of migrating to the cloud – more so than simply a technical hired hand that gets the current job done.
  • You Still Need Help On-Premises – One of the reasons organizations move to the cloud is to offload the burden of responsibility for setup, management, maintenance, and support of parts of their IT. If this represents your organization, it’s likely there are parts of your on-premises environment (that haven’t been moved yet) that you’d enjoy handing off to a partner. Picking a partner that only cares about the cloud project isn’t seeing the whole picture.  By leveraging an MSP that helps with both the management of your on-premises environment and the cloud migration can better relate to the challenges you are experiencing through your journey to the cloud.
  • The Move Requires Trust – You’re handing over some critical application, data set, and/or workload to an outside organization to safeguard, move, and get back up and running with little to no downtime in a cloud-based environment.  This implies you need to find a partner you can trust. The MSP focused on relationships understands the implicit trust that needs to exist. By focusing on relationship, the right MSP can prove faithful to that trust, delivering not only a successful move to the cloud, but also building rapport and confidence in their customers that they can continue to help the organization succeed.

A partner focused on relationships and not just revenue has your best interest at heart. So as you take steps to begin or continue your journey to the cloud, consider finding one that is interested in your success as much as – if not more than – their own.

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