Factors To Consider While Choosing The Right Managed Cloud Service Provider!!

As IT systems are vast combined with the fact that no two MCSPs are the same, it complicates the process of selecting one that’s right for your organization. Deciding which MCSP is right for you can be a challenge. Many providers seem to offer the same services and if you are new to cloud services you may not understand what aspects are most important. 

To help you work through this, below are a few considerations you should keep in mind when reviewing your MCSP options: 

Skills and expertise

The obvious reason for choosing a MCSP is that you specify your needs and you sit back and relax and expect the best delivery . That is why, any provider you choose needs to be familiar both with the cloud services you intend to use and business operations. As well are capable of adapting to the changes as your business grows. This means understanding industry best practices,knowing how to integrate any critical tooling or applications you have, and being able to adapt or optimize your workflows for cloud resources.

A few questions that are helpful to ask include:

  • What cloud services are they familiar with and how are they trained on these services?
  • What sorts of organizations do they primarily serve and who are their clients?
  • How familiar are they with your industry’s verticals or workflows?

 

Security and compliance

Every organization already has a data classification scheme in place that defines types of data according to sensitivity and/or policies on data residency. This data is a key part of the selection process. If you have specific requirements and obligations, you should look for providers that give you choice and control regarding the jurisdiction in which your data is stored, processed and managed. Managed Cloud Service Providers should be transparent about their data security policies but you should also take responsibility for finding this information out.  

Security and compliance should be at the top of your list when it comes to evaluating MCSPs. The right provider can help you ensure significant improvements over what you might be able to create on your own.

A few questions that are helpful to ask include:

  • What security expertise and experience do provider teams have, including certification level.
  • What compliance regulations does the provider specialize in and does it offer services to audit compliance.
  • What security measures are they taking to secure client data and access from being compromised through their access (i.e. an attacker comes through them).
  • Do they provide any built-in security solutions?

 

Transparency and control

MCSP to manage your cloud resources. These providers generally have full access to your data and the functionality of your cloud services may rely entirely on them. Hence it is very important to choose a MCSPs who are very transparent with their policies and can help your internal team to understand and evaluate risks .

This transparency helps reduce reliance on the provider and helps you verify that MCSPs are providing the services they claim.

A few questions that are helpful to ask include:

  • How willing are providers to share performance reports and metrics about your services
  • Are providers using proprietary or open-source tools to manage services
  • How are you alerted to changes, maintenance, or issues
  • What sort of training do providers offer to improve in-house skillsets

For more information on security, governance and sovereignty, click here.

 

Cloud Commercials 

Pricing

A founding principle of cloud services is that you should only ever pay for what you use. For example, you should be able to save money by scaling VM sizes up or down or even turning off VMs you are not using.  Just powering down VMs when they are not in use outside business hours (typically >70% of the time) can deliver immediate efficiencies. 

  •  Does your Cloud Provider charge you on a pay as you use basis?
  •  Can you check what you are using at any point in time with visibility of up to the last hour? Not all Cloud Providers offer the same charging regime.
  •   What do the prices you are charged include?
  •   Are there any hidden or additional costs, e.g., ingress or egress fees, data migration or exit fees? 

Lock-in 

While you are looking for a Cloud Provider to meet your needs now, this may not be the case down the track as your needs and the needs of your customers change. NIST1 defined Cloud Providers must provide commercial as well as technical flexibility and adaption. Cloud is also a competitive market and you want to ensure you have the flexibility to move if you are not satisfied with the service.

• Can you purchase a single unit of compute for one hour, a Gigabyte of data for one month or sign-up a single user for a month or do you have to commit for a month, a year or even longer?

• How flexible is the Cloud Provider – can you move your data to another Provider if necessary or are there contractual issues preventing or hindering this?

Some Cloud Providers not only hide lock-in into their hidden pricing costs but also, as an alternative to adaptable, open-source solutions, provide proprietary services that, while useful now, effectively act as technical lock-in to prevent you moving to other services and Cloud Providers if your requirements change

  • What is the process to exit your Cloud Provider? 
  •  How easy (or difficult) is it to unpick the variety of services and/or migrate your data?
  •  How confident are you that all you customer data, meta-data, monitoring data and other derived data have been destroyed beyond the Cloud Provider’s future access?

 

Reach our team of experts today to discuss how we can help you with your cloud set up.

 

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