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Once you’ve decided that it makes sense to outsource an area of IT, the next challenge is to choose the right managed cloud services provider. The expertise and offerings of these providers vary widely, with some only supporting a proprietary infrastructure. Others have claimed this expertise to gain a portion of the managed services market without actually having the skills to support your workloads.

In order to choose the right managed cloud services provider, explore whether your candidates meet the following criteria:

  1. Their Services Are Designed to Support Your Desired Business Outcomes: You have unique needs for your applications related to security, performance, data residency, cost, and more. If your potential provider seems to be offering a “one-size-fits-all” solution, this probably won’t give you the control over service parameters you need.
  2. Your Business Priorities Should Be Supported by the Service Level Agreements (SLAs) the Provider Offers: Securing a certain level of uptime isn’t enough in today’s data-heavy business environment. You need SLAs that offer parameters around application availability, so your provider won’t skimp on areas like software updates or orchestration needs. Work with a managed cloud services provider that will tailor the service to support application availability requirements, backed by the right SLA.
  3. They Offer Security Measures That Align Well With Your Existing Policies: Your provider should have best-practices security features integrated into its infrastructure, but it should also provide you with security experts that are equipped to diagnose and remedy any vulnerabilities in your workloads.
  4. You Can Determine How Costs and Performance Are Stacking Up: When you outsource to a cloud managed services provider, you’re not dusting that workload off your hands. You need visibility into your outsourced work so you can make strategic decisions. Identify the providers that offer a management platform with the level of sophistication you require. Make sure to consider real-time decision making regarding infrastructure, application performance, and costs.
  5. The Provider Offers Backup and Data Recovery: Talk with any potential managed cloud services provider about they handle backup and recovery. Be sure both your applications and their associated databases are replicated and backed up. More importantly, ensure that you can promptly access backups for immediate recovery. If you also have compliance needs related to backups, make sure the provider can support these requirements.
  6. The Management and Reporting Portal Is User-Friendly: As IT continues to expand its importance in driving business objectives, line-of-business managers are increasingly influencing the choice and deployment of applications. Solutions need to be easy to use and understand, not only for IT professionals but also for those in non-technical roles.  

It’s tempting to begin a discussion of managed cloud services provider choices around cost, but other considerations will likely overshadow the initial cost differences. A bargain-basement provider that doesn’t adequately support your performance requirements, for instance, will ultimately become a costly choice.

Contact us at Access One for guidance in leveraging the right cloud managed services provider for your business needs. Our client-focused approach ensures that you meet your business objectives while staying within budget requirements.