Cloud managed services: what you need to know

Cloud computing is a must for businesses in today’s digital world. Public, private, and hybrid clouds can help a business scale more efficiently and financially.

But how do you know if handling your cloud computing in-house or outsourcing it is better for your business? We’ve weighed up the most important factors of cloud managed services as you start to look for the right provider. 

What are cloud managed services?

Managed cloud services provide partial or total management of the cloud for the public. It’s an essential bridge between business and technology, helping organizations to scale up quickly without worrying about hiring full-time in-house IT staff. Cloud managed services are also a great way to have a high-quality IT infrastructure without having to take on all the maintenance and management yourself. 

Many organizations that adopt cloud for their internal and customer-facing applications have found keeping just an in-house IT team to manage their cloud environment difficult. Outsourcing cloud management – or partnering your IT team with an MSP – offers more convenience, accessibility, and efficiency. Your in-house team can take care of the day-to-day maintenance, while the MSP helps with advanced configuration and spinning up new services. 

Responsibilities can include:

Businesses can take advantage of the scalability and accessibility of cloud computing, while still getting the expertise of a managed service provider. The most important thing to keep in mind is to ensure your business has a complete disaster recovery plan in place if anything were to happen. While the cloud is highly available, it does not automatically take care of back-up or disaster recovery. Fortunately, most MSPs who offer cloud managed services also offer regular outsourced IT services, like cybersecurity and data recovery. 

Pros of cloud managed services

Flat, predictable spending

When you outsource your cloud services, you can control and reduce network maintenance costs. You’ll be able to anticipate your payments, and you can choose your support tier with the flexibility to move up or down based on your data requirements. A predictable flat fee gives you peace of mind in knowing what to expect and what your monthly budget will look like. 

Centralized network

You’ll be able to build storage and back-up into a centralized network, which allows you to manage all your applications in one centralized data center. This way, remote users can access the centralized data within the same network, increasing your business efficiency. 

Cybersecurity support at a moment’s notice

Your cloud managed service provider will take control of responding to cyberattacks and threats. Top cloud services like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure platforms generally have top-of-the-market in cybersecurity protection, so you’re doubly protected. Again, cloud is not secure by default – which is even more of a reason to use a provider to help configure and monitor these solutions. 

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Faster response time, round the clock

These days, most managed service providers offer 24/7/365 maintenance – and cloud managed service providers are no different. They have the capability to monitor and repair network issues remotely in less time than it would take your in-house IT team alone to get on top of them. 

Future-proof your cloud deployment

Migrating to the cloud is naturally the first step in planning your data center future, as it involves the onboarding of all the latest tech and services. Cloud computing helps to minimize the risk of data disaster – and outsourcing to the specialists ensures that your data is in safe hands from the word go. 

Regulation compliance support

Are you a healthcare provider, online retailer, financial institution, or any other company subject to industry regulation? If so, you’re already aware that non-compliance to privacy and security regulations can land you in serious trouble. 

Working with a cloud managed service provider can ensure you’re compliant with regulations like HIPAA; increased security and enhanced capability will take the stress off your shoulders.

Cons of cloud managed services

High cost

Your budget might be predictable, but it can also get costly. Customized cloud managed service packages will depend on the level and complexity of the services you need, so make sure you’re choosing the services you need most. 

Less-than-optimal performance

Optimizing cloud resources can come at the expense of data storage or performance options. Be sure to make your asset priorities clear to your chosen provider, or you may find that your data is slower to access, or processes are taking longer than usual.

Once the details are in place with your provider, make sure you also verify the results so you can make changes if necessary. 

Multi-tenancy

Cloud managed service providers use a multi-tenant model, meaning they are responsible for many customers’ data, and it is all stored in one location. If your service provider doesn’t have strict security measures in place, this could mean your system might be affected by another customer’s system – for example, if the provider accidentally uploads the wrong data during a migration.  

Careful reviewing of your provider’s security measures is a must before contracting them so that you know your data is being protected.

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Choose a cloud managed service provider you can trust

As the digital age progresses ever on, you need to stay ahead of the curve and keep up with your competition. Cloud computing is essential in business; the most cost-effective and secure way to ensure your data is being handled is to find the right experts to take care of it. 

For end-to-end cloud services across South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia, talk to the specialists at Merit Technologies today. 

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