Stephen Boyle, who’s three months into his new position as vice president of Microsoft’s U.S. Partner Group, recently shared his outlook on the future of the cloud with The Var Guy, and he’s excited about where things are headed. The benefits of moving to the cloud are becoming increasingly apparent to most businesses, including Microsoft’s partners. However, as Boyle points out, transitioning to a cloud environment can be a long journey.
Hosting IT operations on the cloud gives a business the opportunity to cut down expenses and enjoy flexible, expandable data management resources, but there are a number of things to consider before migration. Businesses must weigh the advantages and disadvantages of public, private, and hybrid cloud environments to determine which one best suites their needs, then figure out the right workload and architecture to drive their business value.
A custom strategy is crucial to get enterprises up and running in a cloud environment faster, with a low overall cost, and a well-supported solution. It’s for this reason, Boyle argues, that an intensive education and hands-on training program is needed in order to successfully transition to the cloud. According to DualSpark, a recently acquired Datapipe Cloud Consulting firm, there are a number of reasons why a company may turn to this type of cloud consultation process:
- Investing in the Internal IT Team
Often, an enterprise has a capable internal IT team that the company wishes to invest in with comprehensive, advanced training from strategy to deployment.
- Specialized Training for Engineers
Internal teams do not always need comprehensive knowledge of all aspects of a cloud deployment; rather, they may only require specialized training in the areas that are most specific to its business. In these cases, specialized training for an enterprise’s engineering team makes it easier for the company to onboard new engineers as well as continue to develop the existing team’s knowledge base.
- High Compliance and Regulatory Requirements
Many enterprises, like those within the financial or health industries, are beholden to complicated, high compliance and regulatory requirements, and required custom training to develop and deploy an optimized compliance solution.
- New-to-Cloud Engagements
There are many organizations exploring their cloud options for the first time. These companies need to be walked through developing a customized cloud strategy based on unique business requirements, architecting and prototyping the cloud operating platform and components, and deploying the new cloud environment.
In other cases, however, some businesses simply don’t have the manpower, bandwidth, or desire to implement such an in depth program. Fortunately for these businesses, there is another option – partnering with an experienced managed service provider (MSP).
An MSP can ease the process of cloud migration for businesses by serving as a “stepping stone” to the cloud – resulting in increased agility, decreased recurring in-house IT costs, and increased overall efficiency for the business. An MSP can also customize the right program for a business’ priorities, whether it’s high availability, resiliency, or disaster recovery – freeing up internal IT staff to focus on more strategic projects.
It’s important to note that these aren’t mutually exclusive options. It may be that a company would want to engage in a short-term program with a consultancy firm and entrust their long-term management to an MSP. This is exactly why Datapipe joined forces with DualSpark in the first place: to help businesses lift and shift complex workloads to the cloud, driving better integration and making key components simpler, allowing for a well-supported solution at a lower overall cost.
So while a shift to the cloud may be inevitable, there is more than one way to make the switch. To determine the right migration program for you, you must consider your desired cloud strategy, take stock of your internal resources, and then determine the best partners to meet your goals – whether that means working with a consultancy firm, implementing a long-term management program with a MSP, or some combination of the two. Understanding your migration strategy and finding the partner(s) that can make the transition as hassle-free as possible is key.