Making the decision to incorporate cloud computing into your IT strategy is easy. Building the infrastructure to support it, on the other hand, is not.
Fortunately, you don’t have to.
Top cloud service providers like Lewan Technology make it possible to quickly reap the benefits of cloud computing without the time and costs of deploying physical infrastructure. In addition, select managed services should be available to fill capacity or capability gaps in managing IT environments in the cloud and/or on premise with a single support center.
With the right cloud service provider, IT becomes more cost effective, administration is simpler, and business is more agile. But not all cloud services are created equally.
Here are 3 tips to select the best cloud service provider for your business:
1. Choose a Provider with a Track Record of Stability and Success
The cloud service provider you choose will play a key role in supporting your long term IT and business objectives. You’ll be entrusting them with applications and sensitive data critical to your business success. To determine whether they’re up to the task, carefully consider their client history, partnerships and financial health.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR:
- Solid Reputation. Check references and ask for real client examples to demonstrate the provider’s success in cloud computing implementations. How many years of experience do their cloud experts have? Do they have experience in your industry, and are they familiar with its data management rules and regulations?
- Best of Breed Technology Partnerships. Successful cloud services depend upon a solid infrastructure and a broad mix of technologies. Well-established cloud service providers will have strong relationships with a number of best-of-breed technology providers. Look for a provider whose technology is compatible with your applications and will integrate seamlessly into your existing IT framework.
- Financial Stability and Growth. Make sure your service provider has the financial viability to support your long-term cloud computing objectives. Are they willing to talk about their financial condition? Do they have access to capital for large equipment refreshes? Can they demonstrate a history of financial stability and growth?
2. Choose a Provider with Infrastructure that Surpasses your Requirements
Scalability is the key to business agility. Choose a service provider with the infrastructure in place to support your cloud business needs today and in the future, no matter how your requirements may change along the way.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
- Enterprise-Grade Data Centers and State of the Art Equipment. Look under the hood. Be sure the infrastructure that will support your critical cloud business applications is built specifically for cloud computing with state of the art equipment, not hobbled together with spare parts.
- Availability and Performance. Whatever the requirements of your cloud applications, make sure the cloud infrastructure will have the capacity to scale with your business. Does the provider offer a meaningful service level agreement to ensure the performance of your applications? What is the provider’s backup and recovery plan?
- Compliance. Ask for the results of a third party compliance audit to make sure the service provider can live up to the promises they’re making.
3. Choose a Provider that Sells on IT Value, Not Just Cost
Some providers sell cloud in a t-shirt sizing approach (small, medium or large). Their prices sound cheap, but they leave out many of the true cost factors. Don’t let cost be the primary driving factor; IT control and flexibility provide the true path to cost savings.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
- Industry-Standards to Extend IT Investments. Look for providers with hypervisors and APIs already accessible in your existing environment. For example, if your organization is like most, you’ve already implemented VMware for IT virtualization. With the right cloud partner, you can extend that investment to easily move workloads between your physical premise environment and your virtual cloud environment.
- Process Control Procedures. A trustworthy cloud services provider will have well defined, vigilantly applied and practiced process control procedures in place.
- Return on Investment ROI Calculator. A well-informed cloud service provider should have comprehensive knowledge of IT and migration costs, and help customers build a strong argument for switching to cloud. ROI calculations should incorporate both operational and capital cost savings (eliminated hardware, eliminated technology refreshes) as well as business benefits, such as faster speed to market, improved productivity and richer management information.
- Value-Add Services. Cloud management and related services are best left to cloud experts. Your cloud service provider should offer a range of managed and professional services in order to streamline integration, simplify management and support your cloud business as it expands and evolves. There is value in the cloud. With the right expertise, technology and services in place, you can achieve it.
With managed services and cloud solutions, it's a large menu that you get to select from. You want a cloud services provider that’s going to help you pick the right items off the menu, then integrate what you order and migrate you into that environment. This is where Lewan’s experts come in.
—Scott Pelletier, Lewan's CTO
More about Lewan’s Cloud Computing Platform
Lewan leverages the cloud and colo infrastructure in seven data centers across the United States to provide hosting services for our clients. We then add any additional managed services our clients need to the stack so we can provide a comprehensive IT support experience with only one number to call. The array of services we offer fall into our four pillars (or “puzzle pieces”) of support. We tailor our offerings to take on the IT support functions of our clients when they don’t have the capacity or capability to provide on their own.
Check out this video of our CTO and IT Team talking more about the cloud then to take a look at your current IT environment and help you define cloud computing and managed cloud services right for your business.