Back to top

Top 20 Blogs of 2020: Part 19 - 3 Ways IT Projects Involving the Cloud Cost You More Without an MSP

Nick Cavalancia

The day you sign up for a cloud service, the meter begins running and you’re going to start being billed. This causes many internal IT organizations to speed up the process of moving to the cloud in an attempt to minimize wasted spend. And, as you already know, speeding up means mistakes are going to be made, which is only going to cost you more.

The idea of bringing on a Managed IT Services Provider (MSP) to assist with strategy and implementation usually results in thinking the cloud project costs are only going increase. But there are some hidden costs with the cloud that can be avoided by using an MSP that is experienced in helping organizations move to the cloud. These costs are associated with a few choices made during the course of an IT project involving the cloud:

  1. You Choose the Wrong Cloud – Like any other service on the planet, it’s possible to choose the wrong cloud. For example, the public cloud seems like a viable option for just about any business.  But if you have specific requirements around performance, security, who has control, or data extradition, a private cloud provider that specializes in meeting one or more of your needs is likely the better choice. Each of these requirements comes with an associated cost of not meeting it. And the worst part about this is you won’t know it is a more costly choice until months down the road when it’s potentially too late to cost-effectively do anything about it. An MSP knows about the possible options and, in some cases, even has a private cloud datacenter of their own that can be tailored to your needs and can help proactively ensure you make the right choice of cloud at a more affordable price.
  2. You Choose the Wrong Tier of Service – The public cloud commoditizes services and to address the needs of most customers, they attempt to break down the offering into a number of tiers. Sure, you get some options, but in many cases the tiers only confuse things, costing you money.  For example, storage on Amazon S3 comes in 6 different tiers. The least expensive is their Glacier Deep Archive.  Now, the name should give you some idea of the purpose of the tier, but there are customers that are very cost-conscious who would choose this because it is the least costly per GB. From a storage perspective, it’s true.  But when it comes time to recover from this tier, the first byte of data retrieved will likely be measured in hours and you’ll be charged per GB for the recovery. A good MSP is going to help ensure that you understand all the costs associated with cloud options to help you make the most cost-effective choice.
  3. Your Cloud Strategy is All Wrong – There are certain catalysts that cause businesses to move to the cloud: budget, older tech in place, a major change in organizational strategy, a compelling event like the pandemic, and more. And, because there are many, many ways to go from nothing to everything in the cloud, it’s imperative that you have a sound long and short-term strategy of what to put in the cloud, when and where, and in what order. Strategies like “cloud first” (where the organization decides “if we can put it in the cloud, we will”) sound great in a board meeting, but in practical application they can cause more problems than they solve, only adding to the overall cost of moving to the cloud.  Seasoned MSPs that have assisted in cloud-related IT projects can see the “forest through the trees” and can spot the mistakes in your strategy, offering a clear path (or a course correction, if you’ve already started) to maximize your use of the cloud while avoiding unnecessary costly mistakes.

For most organizations, the cloud will prove to be a faster, more resilient, highly available, and less expensive choice for many of your workloads and applications. But that’s all true if you make all the right choices.  Using an MSP to assist at the very beginning will help to ensure your strategy and execution is correct, resulting in a lower overall cost of ownership in the cloud.