Understanding cloud migration and recognizing the importance of choosing the right managed services provider (MSP) is crucial in modern technology and business strategies.
Keep reading for helpful tips on how to choose the perfect provider.
A managed services provider is a third-party IT services firm that manages, supports, and improves an organization’s IT infrastructure and cloud operations. In the context of cloud migration strategies, the MSP takes end-to-end accountability right from assessment, planning, and execution through to post-migration support.
Key responsibilities include developing optimal migration strategies and roadmaps, migrating data/apps seamlessly, implementing the right cloud security policies and compliance standards, managing integrations with on-premises systems, continual performance enhancements leveraging native cloud computing capabilities, and 24/7 monitoring and support.
Established MSPs with proven expertise and experience deliver vastly superior migration outcomes compared to fly-by-night operators or rogue MSPs lacking credentials.
Reputable MSPs hold advanced partner designations with leading cloud providers like AWS and Azure. They invest heavily in skills, specializations, and certificates to stay updated on the latest cloud capabilities, tools, and best practices. As such, selecting the right MSP is key to a smooth and successful migration process.
To select the perfect provider for your cloud infrastructure, take the following steps:
1. Analyze Your Business Needs and Strategic Goals
When choosing a cloud provider, it’s important to clearly define your business needs, objectives, and long-term goals. This self-assessment lays the foundation for finding the right technology partner to support your cloud migration and transformation journey.
Conduct an in-depth evaluation of your existing IT infrastructure across these critical areas:
- Core business applications and workloads
- Server and storage capacity and utilization
- Network architecture and bandwidth requirements
- Data security, compliance, and governance policies
- In-house IT skills and capabilities
Also, ask yourself simple strategic questions, such as:
- Do I want to improve business agility and innovation capabilities?
- Is cost optimization a significant factor?
- Do I need to boost customer experience and engagement?
This will determine readiness for cloud adoption and reveal any incremental steps needed to modernize legacy systems. It will also help match workloads and use cases to the right cloud deployment model: private, public, or hybrid cloud.
2. Evaluate Technical Capabilities and Experience
The MSP should have certified architects, developers, engineers, and project managers with proven expertise across diverse cloud migration scenarios. Deep hands-on experience with major cloud platforms is also vital.
Examine if the MSP has experience handling diverse, large-scale migration projects for organizations in your industry. Review examples of cloud architectures they have designed and migrations delivered successfully.
Also, assess their technical breadth, like their server lift and shift capabilities, containerization skills for re-platforming apps, application redevelopment competencies, data migration tools, etc.
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3. Assess the Provider’s Security Measures
When evaluating an MSP, examine their data protection policies and procedures closely. Look for providers with comprehensive policies that cover data encryption, access controls, breach notifications, and disaster recovery.
Ask questions like: Does the provider encrypt data in transit and at rest? How are access controls managed? What is the breach notification process? Is there a documented disaster recovery plan?
You should also evaluate how well the MSP adheres to industry and compliance standards. This includes frameworks like ISO 27001, HIPAA, PCI DSS, and GDPR. Verify that the MSP holds current third-party certifications and attestations for the standards you care about. This helps ensure they follow best practices for controls and risk management.
4. Consider Their Cost and Scalability Options
When comparing MSPs, carefully review and compare monthly fees, one-time costs, and contract terms across providers. Look for fair and competitive pricing aligned to the services and SLA being provided. Be wary of prices that seem too good to be true, as lower fees often translate to reduced service levels. Aim for the best value relative to what is being offered.
Also, consider things like support costs and who owns purchased equipment when assessing each provider’s total cost of ownership.
5. Assess the Possibility for Growth and Expansion
Consider how well the MSP can scale to accommodate future IT growth. Review their range of services and global presence to assess expansion capability for multi-site or large implementations.
The MSP should be equipped to support both small-scale pilot migrations and large complex organizational transformations to the cloud. The resources, tools, and expertise to scale cloud migration projects are essential. Additionally, the MSP should have the agility to adapt its services to customers’ specific migration scenarios, environments, and objectives. Every migration journey is unique.
Ask about the MSP’s largest customers and installations to date. Larger providers typically have greater capacity for growth, while smaller firms may hit resource ceilings sooner. Ideally, the provider offers a breadth of services that can scale delivery seamlessly as your needs evolve.
- The success of cloud migration heavily depends on selecting a reputable MSP with proven expertise and experience. Established MSPs, holding advanced partner designations with leading cloud providers, invest in skills and certifications, ensuring superior migration outcomes.
- General guidelines for choosing a reputable cloud MSP include analyzing business needs and goals, evaluating technical capabilities, assessing security measures, and considering cost, scalability, and growth.
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