In the course of the digital transformation, more and more companies have already moved their IT to the cloud, are in the process of doing so or are planning the migration. Once the complex process has been mastered, companies are faced with the question of how to manage their cloud services.
It is true that many tasks that used to be the responsibility of the company’s own IT department are now obtained from the cloud provider as a service. But management is not one of them and has to be done by someone else. A good solution must also be found for support.
Companies are faced with two questions: First, do they want to take management into their own hands, or do they want to turn to a partner who competently delivers this service as managed services? Second, can they do the support themselves?
It may seem attractive to do everything in-house. But companies should honestly ask themselves whether they even have free and qualified resources at their disposal. In view of the shortage of cloud experts, companies should not assume that they can quickly recruit experts on the job market. And even if a company already has cloud experts on its staff, the company should ask itself whether it shouldn’t better use these scarce resources for its core business.
If companies decide to delegate their cloud management to a cloud enabler or managed service provider (MSP), they should evaluate exactly who they are entrusting with this responsible task and what the price-performance ratio looks like. A few considerations: At a basic level, for example, there should be no extra costs for basic managed services such as regular checks by cloud experts. There should also be no need for a long-term contract. Furthermore, the cloud enabler should provide a dedicated contact person.
Once it has been decided who will take over the cloud management, support still has to be covered. Can a company provide support for its sometimes business-critical systems in the cloud itself, 24/7, 365 days a year? Personnel requirements and costs are high for 24/7 support: six people are needed for 24/7 support on five working days alone. There should be two people for each of the three shifts in order to be able to compensate for absences due to illness.
If the support is to be outsourced, the cloud provider or an MSP can be used. Support from a leading MSP offers many advantages over support from a cloud provider: It offers shorter response times, support is provided within Europe and second-level support is in German. If the MSP is also responsible for cloud management, there are also attractive synergies, because the permanent contact person of the MSP offers great advantages in the event of support. He knows the customer and his cloud landscape and can act knowledgeably.
But back to the price-performance ratio: The support outlined above, i.e. 24/7 enterprise support with a German-speaking second level, should already be part of the offer of an MSP on the free basic level. In contrast, support from a cloud provider is always subject to a fee. This makes it very attractive to delegate cloud management to an MSP: Companies get basic managed services, a dedicated contact person and optimal support – without additional costs and without long-term contractual commitments.
But the basic level is not everything. Many companies need more comprehensive managed services or can anticipate that they will need them later as they grow. A good cloud enabler should also be able to offer attractive managed services beyond the basic level. This includes infrastructure and application monitoring, security management, application delivery, data and analytics platform management, backup and disaster recovery management, patching, and continuous cost optimization. Customers of such comprehensive managed services can also expect 5-minute SLA and 24/7 coverage of infrastructure and incident management. Such professional management of IT in the cloud also lays the foundation for continuous innovation – a competitive advantage that should hardly be underestimated.