Cloud trends: Solving infrastructure management in the transition to strategic IT

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infrastructure management strategic ITHas your department started its shift toward more strategic IT? If you have, you’ve probably also faced the question, “How will I manage my business infrastructure to optimize performance?”

Some of your peers have found an effective solution: managed cloud services.

In a recent Frost & Sullivan survey, 52 percent of IT decision makers said that a lack of in-house expertise hampers their cloud implementations. Of those using cloud today, 11 percent said finding qualified staff is an issue, and 91 percent are seeking outside assistance to deploy their clouds. Of those seeking help, some turn to managed service providers, and rightly so. Managed cloud services can offer big benefits as you balance strategic projects with the need to manage infrastructure.

What are managed cloud services?

Managed cloud services create a partnership between your business and a cloud service provider that extends beyond service provisioning.

In a managed services relationship, the provider contributes cloud technology, infrastructure and expertise while you retain control and oversight of application performance. It’s a best-of-both-worlds scenario. You gain expert assistance to deploy and manage your infrastructure without having to worry about using internal resources to physically deploy, manage and optimize it. The beauty is that you don’t relinquish workload control; you work with the provider to ensure that the infrastructure supports the performance you need to ensure optimal service operation.

For many CIOs, the benefits of managed cloud services are clear. In an atmosphere where your focus is on fast response to business needs, managed service providers offer experts who optimize your infrastructure to ensure application performance with high levels of security and compliance and guaranteed service-level agreements (SLAs).

Above all, businesses are seeking managed cloud providers that will work to align their services with business outcomes, and provide SLAs that guarantee it. Need infrastructure that bursts to accommodate a specific throughput to enable online sales? Your managed service provider should be able to accommodate such a request. If not, you should be looking elsewhere.

What should you look for in providers?

Frost & Sullivan has identified seven key criteria that you should look for when considering managed cloud providers who will meet your business needs, today and in the future. These include:

  • Core expertise in infrastructure and workload
  • Support for multiple hardware types and hypervisors
  • Hybrid management expertise
  • Customizable services and SLAs
  • Robust security features
  • Compliance assurance and related reporting
  • A robust portfolio of managed services

As your IT department shifts from the role of asset manager to strategic IT business driver, it’s critical to focus your resources wisely. For many CIOs, this means turning to managed cloud service experts. Managed cloud partners handle routine management tasks through experts with the know-how to tailor configurations to ensure optimal function, giving your business the best platform on which to succeed.

For more information on how to use managed cloud services as you shift to a strategic IT model, read our whitepaper titled “Cloud-Based Managed Services: Tips for Selecting a Provider that Can Help You Re-Tool Your IT Department.”

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