Managed Services Guidebook: Dodging Common “Cloud Mistakes” That Threaten Your Business

12/5/2017

cloud managed services“The cloud offers a variety of benefits, including the promise of enhanced reliability, flexibility, manageability and scalability,” columnist John Edwards writes in a recent article for CIO.com. He also counters with a comment about the “cloud’s dark side – a place where a single error, oversight or miscalculation can lead to utter catastrophe.”

Edwards continues to list 10 mistakes that can turn cloud transitions beneficial to your enterprise into technology debacles that deliver “red ink and lawsuits” to your organization instead. As bloggers devoted to helping companies maneuver through digital transformation, we reviewed Edwards’ list. We detected three themes that weave through most of his points, and we believe working with IT Managed Services Providers (MSPs) can address all three mistake themes. Here’s how we make the case:

Mistake #1: Moving Too Fast

Before you fly into the cloud, are the applications you are taking with you ready for the trip? You had better be certain because transitioning systems too quickly can waste time and money in the short term as you confront complications and necessary fixes. In the long run, failing to launch functional cloud apps in a timely can cost you user confidence or worse – increase your vulnerability to hackers.

How MSPs Can help

MSPs specializing in cloud services can function like your corporate IT department by proxy, helping with crucial steps, such as vetting cybersecurity. MSPs can help you test authentication processes, data encryption, access control and other validations before cloud apps go live.

Mistake #2: Leaping without Looking

Edwards tags two mistakes when beating a hasty path into the cloud:

  1. Failing to consider the effects of cloud transitions on three critical areas of governance: monitoring/management, security and finance.
  2. Failing to assign cloud-related tasks, such as security, data backups and business continuity.

How MSPs Can help

While your organization may be transitioning systems to the cloud for the first time, experienced MSPs already have traveled this path. Many, for example, specialize in network monitoring, cybersecurity and business continuity for the spectrum of business systems in multiple industries. Your MSP can help you move to the cloud in gradual stages, providing assessments of network vulnerabilities and estimating costs of various cloud services, such as backups.

Mistake #3: Going to Auto-Pilot Mode

Just because some of your systems have moved beyond the traditional virtual boundaries of your business doesn’t mean they are no longer part of your core technology infrastructure. Your management responsibility for those systems remains so you’re your attention to them must remain, too – even when working with a trusted advisor like an MSP. Plus, odds are your organization will be operating in a hybrid and/or multicloud environment, which are configurations we have addressed in past posts that are worth learning.

How MSPs Can help

Assessing cloud computing requirements takes a deliberate, phased approach, which accounts for needs that vary by industry and the markets you serve. MSPs can help with this long-cycle process – and, meantime, fill any cloud skills gaps you have.