Finding a Managed Service Provider (MSP) that meets your organisations needs is essential to successful cloud migration.

Many enterprises are turning to the cloud to help transform business processes to better compete in the digital era and deliver the best for their customers. Many companies are seeking external expert partners. The task of deciding on a new managed services partner and transitioning from old to new can be a daunting process. So how do you go about making the initial selection? How do you know you’ve made the right decision and, if you decide it’s time to make a move, what kind of issues do you need to consider?

Why a Cloud MSP?

While the cloud has many benefits, migrating to the cloud and ensuring you’re continually getting the most from it is not easy. It requires a lot of specialized skills, as well as a deep understanding of the cloud environment and the tools to optimize its use.

That’s why an MSP can be a valuable partner. It can help you not only at the outset—getting your legacy IT to the cloud—but also manage what’s in the cloud more nimbly and efficiently on an ongoing basis. Looked at another way, an MSP can be the glue between a company and the cloud—or, more accurately, between the assets running in the cloud and those remaining in a company’s data centres.

Actually, the benefits of using an MSP are very similar to those offered by a cloud provider. You get a team of people watching your technology implementation who have “been there, seen that”: They’ve learned from many such efforts at dozens or hundreds of other companies, and you benefit from that experience. The fact is, most companies’ people are not cloud experts, and an MSP brings skills and knowledge that organizations can’t build out on their own. An MSP also enables a company to automate cloud migration and management at scale, and at an attractive cost.

The point is, trying to handle everything in-house can be difficult and risky given your finite resources, and it could stifle the speed of your adoption of the cloud. By working with an MSP that brings scale and experience across many companies, you can leave a lot of the routine, repeatable, and time-intensive work to someone else while you concentrate on providing strategic support to the business.

Other considerations might include the disaster recovery capabilities of MSPs, which offer business continuity and decreased downtime.

 Our 8-point Checklist – What to Look For?

Not all MSPs are equal—there’s a broad spectrum of cloud MSPs a company can choose from. How do you know which to choose? The most effective MSP’s has the following attributes:

  1. Industry focus: A cloud vision, blueprint and solution that’s tailored for your industry.
  2. End-to-end capabilities: Ability to take you through the entire cloud journey—from planning and migration to culture change, management and optimization.
  3. Ecosystem reach and relationships: Strong relationships with all three of the top hyperscale providers (AWS, Azure, and Google).
  4. An automated approach: Codified best practices in a suite of tools, automated capabilities, and collaboration models that can handle migration and ongoing management.
  5. Innovation at scale: A proven track record in, and sufficient resources for, delivering innovative cloud solutions around the world.
  6. Continuous optimization: Provides cost controls, governance and accountability that ensure you generate long-term benefit.
  7. Mutual trust: Offers a shared-risk relationship with pay-as-you-go pricing.
  8. Global delivery network: Capacity to scale to migrate and manage complex, multi-vendor, global cloud infrastructure.
What should you consider before signing a contract with an MSP?

Businesses must be upfront about their needs. The most successful relationships happen when the conversations between a company and an MSP clearly articulate what’s needed from the new provider, rather than focusing on what the business is receiving from the old provider. Businesses should consider the long-term objectives, short term deliverables, and their current position, and then form those points cleanly into an easily understandable contract.

Ownership issues should be similarly front of mind. Ownership of hardware and software assets (for both the previous and forthcoming contract) needs to be established.

Businesses should keep in mind that the scope of the service they require might also change during the lifetime of the contract, so it’s important to look for an MSP who understands your business, is adaptable and agile, and can provide and accommodate for that flexibility.

Find a MSP partner that best meets your business needs

Many businesses are familiar with the outsourcing process, and some even change MSPs several times. That said, businesses should remember to maintain some level of relationship with their old MSP during the journey, as the success and nature of the project depends to some extent on their input. In any case, the new supplier should be willing to put in extra effort to ensure that all goes smoothly and in order to become a true strategic partner.

Computer Geeks are an expert MSP who can make your journey to the cloud effortless and pain-free. Get in touch with us today and see how our Cloud based solutions can really enable your business to be nimble, efficient and cost-effective.