Cloud Managed Services: How To Choose a Provider... and Relax
Managed Services is the practice of outsourcing management responsibilities to an expert party in order to improve operations, efficiency, and costs. More and more companies are starting to see the value of outsourcing the management of their cloud infrastructure to expert companies called Managed Service Providers (MSPs).
Hiring a company to manage your cloud services and infrastructure means you can spend more time building those features or processes that add value to your clients, and less time having to manage your cloud infrastructure and having to worry about its technical details.
OK, so maybe you won't exactly "relax" and go on vacation after hiring a Managed Service Provider but you can definitely relax about that piece of the puzzle and focus your efforts on other areas of your business.
Choosing a company that provides Cloud Managed Services can be a bit daunting if you don't know where to start. Here are some key factors to keep in mind while choosing the right Managed Service Provider.
Experience is Key
Choosing a Managed Service Provider with established experience in the IT and cloud space is probably one of the most important factors you should consider. After all, you don't want recent college graduates designing and managing the infrastructure your entire company is going to rely on (no offense to recent college graduates). More specifically, you want a company with plenty of experience with the cloud provider of your choice. In other words, if you already have some infrastructure on AWS, or you want to migrate some of your workloads to AWS, you want a company whose strength and experience is mainly on AWS.
The Proof is in The Certifications
Most major public cloud companies offer certification programs to help people prove they have a certain level of expertise in their products. Amazon Web Services, for instance, offers 8 different certifications at two different levels, associate and professional. Google Cloud offers two certifications for their cloud services, Cloud Architect and Data Engineer. Microsoft and IBM also offer certifications for their cloud services.
The key here is to make sure the Managed Service Provider you are hiring has most, if not all, of their engineers certified for the cloud provider you are using. The more certified engineers the company has, the higher the quality of the solutions you will receive from them.
Hiring a Managed Service Provider can help you focus your time on other aspects of your company but it can also help you save money on your infrastructure costs. Not only should the cost of hiring a Managed Service Provider be reasonable but they should be able to optimize your infrastructure cost - while keeping performance in mind. Experience with cost optimization is another factor to look for in a Managed Service Provider. For some tips on how to reduce your AWS costs check out our earlier post here.
Migration to the cloud doesn't happen overnight. For most companies, migrating to the cloud is a process that takes time and careful planning. One of the ways to gradually migrate your applications to the cloud is by having a hybrid architecture (a solution that bridges your current infrastructure with the new infrastructure in the cloud) so you will need professionals with significant experience in both traditional IT infrastructure (on-prem or data centers) as well as cloud infrastructure.
While choosing a company that provides Cloud Managed Services make sure they have hybrid infrastructure expertise (people with both traditional IT, and cloud expertise) so they can help you find the best solutions to your hybrid infrastructure or cloud migration needs.
In conclusion, hiring a company that provides Cloud Managed Services can allow you to focus on the things that matter most for your business and not so much on the technical details of your cloud infrastructure.
While looking for a Managed Service Provider keep in mind their experience, in relation to your preferred cloud provider, their level of certifications (how experienced they are in that cloud environment) and last but not least how they can help you optimize your infrastructure costs.
At Stratus10 we pride ourselves on our expertise. We do one thing and we do it well. We build cost-effective solutions on AWS. All our engineers are AWS Certified, most of them at the professional level which means we can say, with the highest level of confidence, that we are AWS pros. If you would like to see how we can help you focus more on your business while saving money on your infrastructure costs drop us a line and we'll be happy to help.