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Cloud: Mapping the Road to Digital Success

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In the ever-expanding cosmos of technology, the cloud offers near-infinite possibilities for growth and innovation. Recent research from Canalys projects a substantial 20% increase in cloud service spending over the next year, underscoring how pivotal it will be for modern businesses. However, venturing into the cloud without the right expertise can be as challenging as navigating the harsh void of space.

To be successful, it’s important organizations can understand and manage the complexities involved with cloud adoption. Enter Managed Cloud Service Providers (MCSPs). Employed correctly these should act as navigators, helping enterprises chart a course for success, ensuring they optimize and maximize the benefits of the cloud. The question is choosing the right partner.

Scott Anderson is VP of cloud, growth and business operations, at Couchbase.

There are a number of benefits of working with MCSPs, including freeing up IT teams to focus on adding value elsewhere. This comes alongside factors, such as improved innovation, cost efficiency, greater agility, and better security. But there are still several considerations organizations must bear in mind when selecting the right navigator.

For one, our own data reveals that enterprises were forced to spend almost $6.54 million more on cloud services a year because of several factors. These include inflexible pricing plans, a lack of control over data, and issues around vendor lock-in. This is why it’s critical companies make the right choice before diving in with one provider over another. Businesses must be able to retain control of data and have the freedom to choose the provider that best suits their unique needs at any given time. Otherwise, they risk an overspend on cloud services.

Choosing the right navigator doesn’t only impact operational efficiency, but innovation trajectory too. An organization could struggle to rapidly create new digital services if they invest in a provider that limits their agility and flexibility. For instance, not giving IT teams the ability to move data or scale as needed due to vendor lock-in. This could also jeopardize their efforts to use new technologies such as Generative AI – which requires a huge amount of compute processing power. Having limited agility is a real concern, as it’s an organization’s ability to quickly innovate that acts as the main competitive differentiator between rivals in today’s modern world.

Here’s some factors enterprises must consider when looking to ensure they choose the right partner:

Mapping the Road to Digital Success Using the Cloud

1. First, IT leaders must evaluate service offerings. They should question whether there is a comprehensive suite of services that meets the broad scope of their business’s needs. If they work for a global organization, then it’s important the MCSP can offer coverage across multiple countries. There’s also a question of whether the provider can adapt and scale resources as per business demand, for long-term digital resilience.

2. Reliability is crucial. Firms should opt for providers with strong Service Licence Agreements (SLAs), that guarantee specific uptime and fast, effective support for when things go wrong. IT teams should also investigate their disaster recovery strategies and data backup protocols—are they sufficient to guarantee continuity in case of an emergency? An MCSP’s network infrastructure must also support low latency and high bandwidth, ensuring that applications can run smoothly.

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3. In the digital expanse, security is paramount. Organizations should only work with MCSPs that use rigorous encryption practices for data at rest and in transit. They must check their compliance with industry standards and regulations, such as GDPR. Adequate identity and access management (IAM) capabilities are also essential to control access to data and infrastructure.

4. Another consideration is cost transparency. Businesses must understand the pricing models and ensure there are no hidden fees. The billing process should be clear cut, with a simple breakdown of costs, so financial planning remains straightforward. This transparency ensures that there are no surprises in store.

5. Lastly, IT teams must consider the support and data management capabilities of the provider. They should assess whether the MCSP offers robust data migration tools and support for a seamless transition when moving to or between clouds. Effective backup and recovery solutions are also essential, ensuring data integrity and availability no matter the circumstances.

Cloud: Aiming for the Stars

By taking into account the above considerations, modern businesses can ensure they have the right navigator at the helm. This is essential for companies wanting to be at the forefront of digital innovation and benefit from the cloud without needing to navigate it themselves. Only when the complexities of cloud are kept at bay, is it possible for IT teams to aim for the stars and fully focus on making digital success a reality.

This article was produced as part of TechRadarPro’s Expert Insights channel where we feature the best and brightest minds in the technology industry today. 

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