Your Cloud Vendor – Maybe it’s time for a review

By: Bill Kleyman| - Leave a comment

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Cloud services have become a staple in today’s business model. Many are adopting some type of cloud architecture to help their business become more agile and competitive. But, it’s important to know that cloud is never set in stone. Rather, it’s a moving architecture that’s always adapting to your requirements.

The key is knowing what those requirements are and if your cloud partner is actually meeting those expectations.

With that in mind – it’s important to ask a few questions as you look at your own cloud model and partnership.

  • Is your cloud provider actually providing you value?
  • Or, are they just a host for your workloads?

In fact, Gartner’s 2015 CIO survey indicates that 83 percent of CIOs consider cloud IaaS as an infrastructure option, and 10 percent are already cloud-first with cloud IaaS as their default infrastructure choice. Furthermore, IDC went on to state that worldwide spending on public cloud services will grow at a 19.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) — almost six times the rate of overall IT spending growth. To quantify the growth rate – this means going from nearly $70 billion in 2015 to more than $141 billion in 2019.

So – we know that cloud services are continuing to impact business all over the world. We know that organizations of all sizes and verticals are adopting cloud platforms. However, the challenge remains in selecting the right type of partner. But, what if you already have a cloud partner and it’s just not working out? What are the clear signs that it’s time to move on to a different partner?

Here’s the reality – where one cloud partner may fall short, another can pick up the slack. A good cloud provider can actually help plan and conduct entire the infrastructure move.

But, before you go on to working with a new cloud vendor – let’s look at some signs that it might be time to move on:

  • Not much room for agility. If you’re requesting an adjustment (and it’s nothing crazy) – your cloud vendor should be able to adjust to your demands. For example, you might require more control over the underlying infrastructure. If the cloud vendor won’t give that to you, or will charge you a crazy additional charge, think about the future of your business and where these cost factors come in. A rigid cloud infrastructure will ultimately mean less flexibility for your business. Now, SLAs evolve as business changes. If your cloud vendor can’t keep up with your uptime or business requirements, this is definitely a red flag that it’s time to move on.
  • Limited abilities to scale – as your business evolves. Your business is growing; quickly. Can your cloud vendor keep up? Scaling infrastructure is one thing – but what about performance? What about security and supporting new initiatives? Too often cloud vendors might give you infrastructure, but won’t really be supporting the business initiatives. A disconnect between scalability and business requirements will result in slower go-to-market capabilities. Your cloud provider must provide physical as well as virtual services to support business scalability and flexibility.
  • Not aligning with the business. As the business evolves, you’ll require more services to support a competitive advantage. This might mean you require Wide Area Network Optimization (WANOP), greater levels of security and multi-tenancy, or you might need specific data protection/backup services. Can your cloud provider offer this to you? If you’re trying to leverage non-native, third-party, services within your cloud for specific business functions – you’re likely introducing greater levels of complexity. This might be a great opportunity to look at vendors who can provide native cloud services for your business.
  • Poor communication between your partner and the business. Your cloud vendor is much more than just an infrastructure or platform provider. They are your business partners. And, as your business partner, they must understand your business, your requirements, and where you’ll be in the near future. This means having both IT and business level conversations with your selected cloud vendor. If your provider simply can’t keep up with your business – you need to move on. There are times when cloud vendors offer specific services for smaller organizations – or specific use-cases. Even if you love your cloud partner; if they can’t support you –it’s a fruitless relationship. Always align business strategy with the capabilities of your cloud vendor.

Cloud computing can absolutely bring powerful competitive advantages with it. The challenge, however, is finding the right type of partner to help you on that journey. It’s important to work with a cloud partner who understands your vision, your business, and your entire IT model. Those types of cloud partners can help you leverage the true power of cloud. That means deploying cloud services, working with hybrid cloud architecture, and helping you support your next-generation business initiatives.

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About The Author

Bill Kleyman

CTO at MTM Technologies

Bill is an enthusiastic technologist with experience in datacenter design, management, and deployment. His architecture work includes large virtualization and cloud deployments as well as business network design and implementation. Bill enjoys writing, blogging, and educating colleagues around everything that is technology. During the day, Bill is the CTO at MTM Technologies, where he interacts with enterprise organizations and helps align IT strategies with direct business goals. Bill’s whitepapers, articles, video blogs and podcasts have been published and referenced on InformationWeek, NetworkComputing, TechTarget, DarkReading, Data Center Knowledge, CBS Interactive, Slashdot, and many others. Most recently, Bill was ranked #16 in the Onalytica study which reviewed the top 100 most influential individuals in the cloud landscape, globally.

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