Managed service providers can help your enterprise manage crucial business services and technologies, including the cloud. With the rise of cloud computing and cloud-based services, companies want to take advantage of the benefits that the cloud provides. However, they may not have the budget, resources, or expertise necessary to properly manage their cloud deployments. That’s why businesses are turning to a managed service provider (MSP) to help them integrate the cloud – but they might not know what questions to ask them beforehand.
If you’re looking to adopt a managed service provider for your cloud environment, there are a number of questions you need to ask first. These are questions you either need to ask your enterprise or the managed service provider themselves in order to ensure successful cloud operations. Before your enterprise commits to a cloud managed service provider, it needs to know the answers to these six valuable questions.
For even more resources on the best cloud managed service providers, you should consider our MSP Buyer’s Guide. It contains profiles on the top cloud managed service providers for AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, as well as questions you should ask providers and yourself before buying. We also offer an MSP Vendor Map that outlines those vendors in a Venn diagram to make it easy for you to select potential providers.
What are my business needs for the cloud?
Just like with any technology, if you’re adopting the cloud into your enterprise, you need to have a solid business reason for doing so. What do you want to accomplish in the cloud, and how will your cloud solutions help you achieve it? You should have an answer to this question before you adopt the cloud in the first place; however, it’s also wise to know your cloud business needs when choosing an MSP. This way, you’ll know how a specific provider can help you satisfy your needs for using the cloud.
Is it cost efficient to invest in a cloud managed service provider?
One of the purposes of having a managed service provider help you manage your cloud environment is to reduce costs for your business. If it’s more cost efficient to have a managed service provider assist you in operating a cloud environment, then you should definitely consider it. However, your enterprise should assess whether or not a managed service provider will help reduce cloud costs in the long run. This doesn’t mean that having a managed service provider will necessary be cheaper; however, if it reduces unnecessary spending on managing your cloud environment, it’s worth consideration.
What security services does the MSP provide?
When you incorporate a managed service provider to help manage your cloud deployment, you need to make sure they have strong security systems to keep your data safe. Every MSP should have native security protocols and strategies in place to protect your cloud environment from security threats, both internal and external. This also applies to data compliance; a managed service provider should disclose any regulations that they are able to comply with.
How long do I want the partnership to last?
Your relationship with a managed service provider is meant to be a partnership. You and your MSP should have a mutual understanding of how long the partnership is going to last. Some enterprises may have a specific time frame in mind, but others might want to work with the MSP indefinitely. This time frame should align with your business goals for the cloud and how long you expect them to be achieved.
How easy is it to switch cloud managed service providers?
You might find after being with a managed service provider for a while that they just aren’t working for you. This happens more often than you think, but if you don’t properly plan for this scenario beforehand, the cost of moving from one MSP to another could be high. An MSP should outline an exit strategy in their service level agreement (SLA); this strategy will let you know how the MSP will assist your enterprise in successfully transitioning away from their services.
Does the service provider support hybrid cloud/multicloud?
The world of cloud computing is changing, and that change is coming in the forms of hybrid cloud and multicloud. More and more businesses are creating hybrid cloud and multicloud infrastructures, and you need to make sure that your potential MSPs support these deployments. Some cloud managed service providers support only one public cloud vendor, while others can help you manage multiple different cloud providers. They may or may not be able to help you manage your on-premise infrastructure in addition to your cloud. Knowing what deployments an MSP supports upfront will help your enterprise determine the MSPs that will work with your enterprise.
Running a cloud environment and need help managing the cloud services you use? Our MSP Buyer’s Guide contains profiles on the top cloud managed service providers for AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, as well as questions you should ask vendors and yourself before buying. We also offer an MSP Vendor Map that outlines those vendors in a Venn diagram to make it easy for you to select potential providers.
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