How to choose the right hybrid managed service provider

Cloud services provider | Binary Tree

We’re still in the early days of hybrid cloud managed services. As a result, some vendors are more experienced at it than others. For example, some have a long history of managing traditional IT and have just recently gotten into the cloud. Other vendors were born in the cloud and are weaker on traditional IT. Ideally, you need a hybrid of the two if you want to be successful at hybrid cloud.

So to guide your choice, here are some tips from Gartner around what to look for in a hybrid managed service provider (MSP).

Fits with your scenario

Different MSPs will have different strengths. Depending on your scenario, you might need an MSP with expertise in:

  • Migrating to the cloud
  • Managing a mix of clouds and onsite environments
  • Managing a wide range of operating systems, middleware, and databases
  • Backup and disaster recovery
  • Security and compliance (like with the GDPR)

At a minimum, look for MSPs who:

  • Have at least a few years’ experience on the cloud platform(s) you’re looking at
  • Know how to use advanced cloud features to spark digital transformation (things like microservices, continuous delivery, automation, internet of things, and machine learning)
  • Support private clouds both onsite or hosted
  • Offer dedicated network connections to leading cloud providers

Offers strong professional services

Along with the above, it’s always a good idea to work with MSPs who can support the full range of key cloud services (typically, MSPs will have a gap or two in these areas). Again depending on your needs, look for an MSP who can:

  • Monitor and manage across your infrastructure, middleware, operating systems, and databases
  • Offer storage, backup, and disaster recovery
  • Protect data and privacy
  • Help with compliance
  • Manage security

Automates where possible

Strong MSPs will also have their own products and solutions—with clear product roadmaps—to automate a wide range of activities. These could include solutions to:

  • Orchestrate and provision cloud services
  • Deliver managed services
  • Migrate users and data
  • Show ongoing analytics
  • Develop agile applications

Works where you are

In the interest of cost, efficiency, and sometimes even compliance, it’s best to choose an MSP who has local offices near yours. This is especially helpful for large, complex migrations where it might make sense for the vendor to work onsite. Later, more routine services can be supported remotely. But again, it’s ideal that they be at least in the same geographic region, as working across time zones and cultures can make things trickier.

To that end, look for MSPs that:

  • Have supported similar customers in your region
  • Have more than just a local sales presence
  • Can support you in hosting the cloud in your region

Get started

If you’re looking for an experienced, local partner to help you migrate to the Microsoft cloud—and manage it once you get there—we might be able to help. To get started, get in touch. Or see more about our managed services.

 

Source: Gartner. How to Select Hybrid Cloud Managed Service Provider, July 2018