What’s managed cloud services and how can it help my organisation? Read this guide to discover what’s involved, how it works and the benefits it brings.
Managing and maintaining cloud-based infrastructures and applications takes ongoing effort. Doing it well requires in-depth cloud knowledge and the ability to keep on top of new and evolving technologies. It’s important to understand how much appetite and capacity you have for this. Many organisations choose to outsource some, or all, of the responsibility to a managed cloud services provider.
With managed cloud services you immediately benefit from cloud engineering skills and expert insights. Factors like security, compliance and cost management are handled by people who know all about the latest tools and best practice procedures.
This means you can quickly take advantage of cloud benefits while avoiding common cloud problems. The managed cloud services provider keeps everything running smoothly and securely, so the in-house team can focus on innovation and improvements that add business value.
With experts taking care of the cloud environment, you can be confident that its management and maintenance is in good hands. For some organisations, this is also the most effective way to introduce 24/7 support without putting additional burden on the in-house team. Removing the hassle and stress of keeping backend systems running releases time and headspace for more interesting work that aids business growth and increases customer satisfaction.
Organisations migrating to the cloud often discover mid-way that traditional approaches to operations won’t work in the new environment. In-house engineers face a steep learning curve, the risk of downtime and security incidents goes up, and cost control is another thorny issue. Managed cloud services turns this around. Practices like monitoring and tagging improve visibility and underpin a targeted operations strategy.
Offerings from leading cloud vendors like AWS and Azure are continually evolving, and the number of third-party tools to perform specialist tasks increases all the time. Keeping up with this dynamic environment requires dedication and focus. When you engage a managed cloud services provider, they do the hard work, and you reap the benefits. As time goes on, reliability, performance and cost-efficiency continually improve.
Managed cloud services providers can work at the infrastructure level or focus on specific applications. They’ll typically evaluate your environment and help determine the best way to support it based on your needs and budget. This might include:
In the event of an incident that the in-house team can’t resolve, the situation escalates to the managed cloud services provider. This model offers cost-effective access to expert cloud engineers when it matters most. Issues are resolved faster, mean-time-to-recover is reduced and system availability improves. This can be offered on an ad hoc basis or as part of a wider support program.
With this model, the provider is retained to handle key aspects of day-to-day operations. This can cover everything from monitoring and improving performance to expense management and security. As well as identifying and rectifying issues, techniques such as tagging, rightsizing and process automation might be implemented across the environment to maximise cost control.
Recurring performance issues often indicate underlying complications which may be rooted in technical debt that wasn’t dealt with during cloud migration. Resolving deep-rooted problems requires dedicated attention, which can be covered via time set aside for Kaizen (continuous improvement) work. Many managed cloud services contracts include a monthly allocation for this. Over time, it helps embed operational maturity and makes the most of cloud capabilities.
Moving to the cloud can be expensive and ineffective if your team lacks the skills, confidence or capacity to unlock its benefits. For many organisations, managed cloud services is the most logical way to avoid the pitfalls and reap the rewards of cloud.
With expert operational management of the cloud environment, it’s easier to accommodate rapid change without harming stability. This creates a positive ripple effect, both within the IT team and across the wider organisation. So, you can adapt to changing circumstances or new customer demands, knowing that systems and applications have the resilience and flexibility to cope.
Need help managing your cloud infrastructure? Take a look at our Cloud Management services.