An Accenture survey reveals that majority of companies are embracing their journey to the cloud, however alignment to business strategy still lacks.
There’s no denial: cloud is the new normal, and many organizations are moving their IT to the cloud than ever before. Sometimes organizations’ needs are transparent and other times they are not clear of what they need and how it needs to be done. A managed service provider (MSP) can help address this issue. It acts as a valuable partner in the cloud journey. Choosing the right MSP isn’t easy, as there is a broad spectrum of cloud MSPs to choose from. How do you know which one is the right fit for your business?
Below are the top 8 tips to consider when you are choosing your first managed service provider:
Strong portfolio in technical capabilities, process and experience: The first thing to look for in your service provider is whether they hold a diverse portfolio in different industry domains. Your service provider should have an in-depth understanding of your business, and the technological risks involved. One thing to consider here is that you must look beyond the basic maintenance capabilities and determine whether they can manage change, handle your complex data, and work with emerging technologies.
Proactivity: With the changing complexity of business, enterprises with global applications or high traffic websites need to evolve with business requirements – from adapting for increase in demand to scaling down once a peak period is over. The time to market should be a major factor in deciding the right MSP. The right MSP adeptly keeps up with these business needs and proactively recommends when it is necessary to scale up or down, ensuring the maximum uptime and performance.
24/7 Availability: Your business doesn’t sleep, so neither should your MSP. That means your service provider has the responsibility of maintaining your valuable data and they must be available whenever you need them. Proactive monitoring ensures that your MSP can deal with any glitch in a timely manner.
Service Level Agreements (SLAs): A service level agreement is a blue print that explicitly outlines terms of service. For business-critical applications, uptime is an imperative consideration. Any unplanned downtime has a direct negative impact on revenue and opportunities. An MSP designs their services, practices, and tooling to support your infrastructure and workload-specific SLA’s. They also continuously work on improving performance.
Adherence to Security Practices: As cloud adoption continues to increase, your MSP must take the necessary precautions to protect the business from cyber perils. Therefore, it’s important for your MSP to know where, how, and when your business is operating and storing data. An MSP’s cloud-based security services should include:
1. Employee training- the finest data security cannot protect from a data breach if employees don’t understand how to act properly. It’s important for the employees to understand a few key things:
Login credentials must be unique and be kept secure
Active sessions must not be left unattended
Employees should have the ability to recognize any online scams and take necessary measures to prevent data compromise
2. A good MSP should be able to provide you with a full set of employee security policies, an annual security risk assessment, and a simulated phishing tool.
3. Remote Data and device management- Because data exists remotely across PCs, laptops, and mobile devices, your MSP should have the ability to remotely manage security and encryption of your valuable data.
Data Backup & Recovery: Firstly, a backup and recovery plan should not be taken as the equivalent of or replacement for a disaster recovery plan. A backup and recovery plan are only the first step in the long process of creating business continuity and disaster recovery plans. Simply put, a backup and recovery plan define a business’ data backup and recovery needs and specifies the workflow that meets those needs.
Knowledge expertise on multiple platforms: While considering your MSP it’s necessary to learn about their knowledge base. Your MSP is expected to have a proper understanding of every platform that you use in your day-to-day tasks. A well-managed service provider will allocate a dedicated support team to your organization that ensures your IT solutions are maintained smoothly daily.
An automated approach: Automation isn’t just trendy tech anymore, it’s a necessity if you are looking to scale your MSP. An efficient MSP is the one who is aware of leveraging automation to save time on mundane tasks.Finding the right MSP is no easy feat, but once you have it helps your organization reach a new technology-enabled future, leaves your own team free to strategize about what technology investments will best advance the business, and you get a true IT partner for the long haul. If you’re considering a cloud MSP, the preceding list is a good starting point for evaluating your service provider, so you can find your perfect fit.