With technology playing an ever-increasing role in businesses' pursuit of success, IT departments have seen their scopes balloon. Once responsible for supporting business functions, they are now often charged with providing the very infrastructure on which a company builds its new products and services.
As they expand to keep up with this new demand, IT departments face yet another challenge: Each business unit's needs are subject to change independently of one another, requiring IT departments to explore more flexible deployment models than were once sufficient. Arising to fill this need is a new model, identified by Gartner as "cloud-enabled managed hosting."
"IT departments must explore more flexible deployment models."
What is cloud-enabled hosting?
CEMH solutions combine the familiar managed services model with cloud-enabled hardware, effectively blending IaaS and SaaS offerings. As a result, IT departments are able to leverage the expertise of a team of service providers as well as the flexibility provided by offsite cloud infrastructure.
This approach can be especially effective for companies that host business online, such as digital marketing firms and e-commerce retailers, as their network infrastructure environments are subject to rapid change, reports Gartner. The research firm also recommends companies currently serving their corporate intranet and third-party commercial software with an in-house team to consider migrating these services offsite with a CEMH solution.
How to choose the right provider for your business
As companies look to outsource their infrastructure and service requirements, it is essential they choose providers with whom they will be able to maintain a productive relationship. As you vet potential providers to take on the various aspects of your cloud environment, keep these considerations in mind:
- Relevant experience: Every industry and market has different requirements, and companies naturally feel more comfortable working with those who have proven they can succeed in their given sector. SearchCloudComputing recommends looking for references, documented applications or even requesting blueprints that can demonstrate a provider's proficiency in your field.
- Migration services: As you move your datacenter to the cloud for the first time, making sure it is set up properly and efficiently should be high on your priority list. To handle your migration, look for a provider with an expressed background in data center migration and professional services, reports CloudTweak, as well as a demonstrated commitment to working closely with you throughout the migration.
- On-site expertise: Even after you transition to the cloud, regulation, compliance or logistical limitations may require some servers to remain onsite, reports CloudTweak. If that is the case, you may also want a partner who is equipped to manage the remaining systems as well as those it takes offsite.
- Business understanding: While it is important that your providers be able to work effectively within your IT environment, at the end of the day they will need to be able to communicate with your stakeholders in order to be successful. Whether they're explaining the value of their service or listening to your organization's vision for the future, the perfect partner will engage with the business side of the application as well as the technical side. "If [a provider is] too focused on only technology outcomes, then they may deliver excellent technology, but may not be relevant to your business," said Puneet Shivam, head of outsourcing at Avendus Capital, according to SearchCloudComputing.
Because every enterprise has a unique set of needs, you may benefit from working with a technology management consultant who can recommend providers based on their proficiencies in these specific areas. Working with each provider day in and day out gives consultants the insight they need to make thoughtful recommendations and save your business considerable expenditure on its migration process.
Contact ARG to discuss how your organization could benefit from a cloud-enabled hosting environment. To get started, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 703-770-2400.