Cloud Services | November 28, 2023

A Guide to Scaling Your Business with Cloud Managed Services

By 2026, three out of four organizations will embrace a cloud-based digital transformation model. The increasing adoption of the cloud presents a significant opportunity for businesses. It benefits those who want to scale up with cloud-managed services.

As a business owner, you must constantly improve your operations and grow your company. One of the best ways to do this is to adopt cloud-managed services. These services can help you scale your business more efficiently.

Cloud-managed services allow you to access and manage your IT infrastructure from the cloud. As such, you won’t have to worry about the day-to-day operations of your IT systems. Here’s a guide to help you scale your business with cloud-managed services.

What Are Cloud-Managed Services? Do You Need It?

When businesses embark on their cloud journey, they face two primary options. They can partner with a cloud infrastructure provider (CIP) or opt for comprehensive cloud-managed services (CMS). Each approach presents distinct advantages and disadvantages and affects the cloud adoption experience and long-term success.

CIPs include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). They offer diverse cloud services, including storage, computing, and networking. You can rely on them for infrastructure and foundational tools to build and deploy cloud solutions.

But, their involvement typically ends there. As such, they leave businesses to manage their cloud environments independently. For a company with limited staff and budget, this task can be difficult.

The business must dedicate resources to hiring, training, and retaining in-house IT personnel. They also handle tasks like infrastructure provisioning and configuration. Cloud operations that involve monitoring, troubleshooting, and security can be daunting to handle.

In contrast, CMS encompasses the entire cloud lifecycle that a business needs. It covers planning, migration, ongoing management, and optimization. CMS providers maintain, update, and troubleshoot cloud infrastructure, providing 24/7 support and proactively.

A CMS provider also addresses potential issues before they escalate. Thanks to this comprehensive approach, you won’t need in-house cloud expertise. You also free up your IT teams to focus on core business priorities.

The Pros of Working With a Managed Cloud Services Provider

Engage a managed cloud services provider to enjoy several benefits. The provider will help you maximize your cloud usage while growing your business. Here are some key advantages of working with them:

Enhanced Expertise and Specialization

MCSPs have deep expertise in cloud technologies, platforms, and best practices. They continuously stay abreast of the latest advancements and maintain certifications that confirm their proficiency. If you partner with one, your business will access this specialized knowledge and expertise to get the most out of the cloud.

Reduced Operational Costs and Overhead

As you transition to cloud services, you may incur many upfront costs. These costs cover the infrastructure and workers that’ll manage and maintain cloud environments. But with an MCSP, you can cut these costs.

The provider will offer you a comprehensive suite of cloud management services. These services include infrastructure provisioning, configuration management, monitoring, and maintenance. They cost less upfront and can reduce your IT operational costs and overhead.

Improved Scalability, Flexibility, Security, and Compliance

MCSPs can seamlessly scale cloud resources up or down to meet fluctuating business demands. With this flexibility, your business can adapt to changing workloads and seasonal spikes. It can also cope with unexpected growth without extra hardware or software investments.

An MCSP can also offer you cutting-edge cloud technologies and services. These services help your business to innovate and adapt to new market trends. As a result, you can have a competitive advantage.

Since MCSPs value security and compliance, they can keep your data safe. They implement robust security measures and access controls to keep sensitive information safe. These providers ensure businesses adhere to the legal and regulatory frameworks of their industries.

Continuous Monitoring, Disaster Recovery, and Business Continuity

MCSPs continuously watch cloud environments to identify performance bottlenecks. They also look for potential security threats and opportunities for optimization. As they address these issues, they develop strategies to improve resource use, cut costs, and boost cloud performance.

You can establish a robust disaster recovery plan with the help of MCSP. The provider can also help you set up procedures for business continuity. That is in the event of unforeseen disruptions or outages.

What to Consider When Choosing Your Cloud-Managed Services Provider

You need to choose the right cloud-managed service provider for your business. That is if you want to optimize your cloud usage and achieve their business objectives. Here are some key factors to consider when making this decision:

Expertise and Certification

Choose a provider with proven expertise in cloud technologies you intend to use. These technologies include Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Look for certifications that confirm their ability to manage complex cloud environments effectively.

Expertise reduces the risk of downtime and errors. Knowledge of complex systems, technologies, and processes can help one perform tasks accurately. It helps them identify potential issues and put in place solutions to lower disruptions and make processes efficient.

Look for certifications that confirm the MCSP’s skill in cloud platforms and technologies. Examples are AWS Certified Solutions Architect and Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect Expert. They help show their in-depth knowledge and ability to design, deploy, or manage cloud solutions effectively.

In the rapidly evolving cloud landscape, MCSPs need to continuously learn and upskill to survive. The new skills help them remain at the forefront of innovation. As such, ensure the provider invests in ongoing training and certifications for their team.

If you intend to use a specific cloud provider, choose an MCSP with strong vendor-specific expertise and relationships. These connections can allow you to access exclusive support, training, and resources. They also ensure you maximize the value of your cloud investment.

Tooling and Workflows

Ensure the MCSP understands the tooling and workflows in your industry. They should also integrate them seamlessly into your existing IT infrastructure. Their experience using cloud management tools should allow them to deliver a tailored solution.

Tooling and workflows are the specific tools, processes, and procedures you can use to perform daily operations. They address the unique needs and challenges of that industry. As such, they ensure businesses operate efficiently and follow industry standards and regulations.

An MCSP with experience in your industry will have a deeper understanding of the tools and workflows you use. They can identify potential bottlenecks, suggest improvements, and adopt business scaling techniques. These actions help ensure that your cloud environment is operating efficiently.

The MCSP can help your cloud environment comply with all relevant regulations and protect sensitive data. They can also help you avoid the risk that arises when you use cloud solutions that don’t pair with your IT infrastructure or industry standards. As a result, you can make informed decisions about your cloud strategy.

You get to foster a long-term strategic partnership that supports your business growth and innovation. The MCSP can provide ongoing guidance and support as your industry evolves. They also ensure your cloud environment remains and business objectives are in line to contribute to your success.

Transparency and Control

Maintain transparency and control throughout your partnership with the provider. They should communicate any changes and offer regular reports on cloud performance metrics. The provider also has to ensure you can access key performance indicators to track your cloud environment.

Ensure the CMS provider gives you more details about their services, prices, terms, and conditions. With this information, you can assess their offerings, identify potential risks, and compare them to other options. You’ll also feel more secure in your decision to partner with them.

Transparency helps align expectations and avoids misunderstandings. Once they define the type of IT services and service level agreements, service providers set clear expectations. They reduce the risk of surprises, conflicts, or disappointments later on.

With control, you can tailor your cloud environment to your needs and preferences. You can choose the cloud platforms, services, and configurations that suit your business. As a result, your cloud solution will align with your unique IT landscape and business goals.

Control enables you to adapt your cloud environment to changing business needs. You can quickly scale up or down your resources, change configurations, and adopt new business technology. Doing this ensures your cloud solution remains agile and responsive.

Cost-Effectiveness, Customer Support, Security, and Compliance

The provider’s pricing and offerings should align with your budget and IT requirements. Consider factors such as subscription fees and usage-based charges as you do this. You should also look at any extra costs associated with specific services.

A cost-effective CMS provider will help you optimize your cloud spending. They’ll identify and cut unnecessary resource use. You can also negotiate favorable pricing with the provider and develop cost-cutting strategies.

Assess the provider’s customer support capabilities before working with them. Do this to ensure they can promptly address any issues or concerns. Check their availability, response times, and escalation procedures to ensure they’re reliable.

When technical issues arise, you should have access to knowledgeable support personnel. A CMS provider with a strong customer support team can help troubleshoot complex problems. They can also guide you through remediation steps to help you resume your operations.

Choose a provider with a robust security posture. They should also adhere to industry regulations and compliance requirements. These security and compliance measures can help protect your data and systems.

The CMS provider should track the cloud for threats, vulnerabilities, and suspicious activity. They should use advanced threat intelligence tools to address these concerns. Real-time monitoring techniques can also help them achieve this goal.

The provider should be able to adapt to your organization’s evolving needs. Their services need to help you scale your cloud resources up or down as required. They should also accommodate future changes in your business requirements.

Communication, Collaboration, and Proactive Problem-Solving

Maintain open and effective communication with the provider throughout your engagement. Do this to discuss progress, address concerns, and collaborate on strategies. These strategies can help optimize your cloud usage and achieve your business goals.

Clear communication helps manage expectations and prevents misunderstandings. By defining project scope, timelines, and deliverables upfront, you can establish clear expectations. You can also avoid misinterpretations that could lead to conflicts or disappointments.

Collaboration ensures that the CMS provider and the client work towards shared goals and objectives. They can create a synergistic partnership if they align their efforts and foster open communication. The partnership can drive cloud success and improve the value of the cloud investment.

The provider should identify and address potential issues. That is before they escalate into major problems. They should also foresee and address risks for a stable and secure cloud environment.

Best Practices for Cloud-Managed Services

You should develop a comprehensive cloud-managed services strategy. The strategy must align with your business objectives and long-term goals. It should also focus on scalability, agility, innovation, governance, security, and cost optimization.

Before you do this, understand the goals the cloud strategy aims to support. You also need to identify the most suitable cloud service models. Afterward, choose cloud vendors that align with your business objectives.

Strong governance practices should always be in place. These practices help improve access control, data security, resource management, and cost management. They help ensure your business adheres to regulatory requirements and internal policies.

Don’t forget about robust access controls, data encryption, and audit trails. These elements help maintain data privacy and security. A risk management plan can help you spot and address security and compliance risks.

Remember to design the cloud architecture to support scalability. This way, your business can expand or contract IT resources based on demand. You should also track and optimize cloud costs to ensure proper use of resources.

Need Seamless Cloud-Managed Services?

With the right guidance and support, you can scale your business to new heights. Embrace the power of cloud-managed services and achieve your business goals. You should outsource your IT management to experts to save time and resources.

Having an efficient IT infrastructure is crucial for success. Count on EMPIST’s IT services to help your business operate at its peak performance. Discover how our comprehensive IT solutions can transform your business today.