How cloud managed services can help you move from tactical to strategic IT

By Tony Savoy

Do you want to spend more time driving business value with cloud managed services and less time managing day-to-day operations? The endless upgrading, patching, monitoring and management of enterprise applications takes a ton of time from highly skilled resources that are hard to find and keep.

With the shift toward strategic IT, system and network administrators are no longer receiving accolades for keeping the lights on — business leaders are demanding more. Administrators either get a C or an F grade. If they execute flawlessly, they get a C, because flawless execution is now expected. For anything less, they get an F. The expectation is that systems will remain “always on.”

Focusing on innovation

PeroxyChem is a leading global supplier of peroxygens and similar chemicals in the industrial and consumer markets. Following a separation from its parent company, PeroxyChem had just 12 months to take over the management of its business systems and started its search with cloud managed services.

Jim Curley, CIO of PeroxyChem, explained that the necessity of setting up a completely new infrastructure gave the company an opportunity to move away from day-to-day management and maintenance of IT to focusing on innovative projects.

“As a newly independent company, minimizing capital spend was key — and it simply didn’t make sense for us to build an on-premises data center and maintain it ourselves,” he said. “From the outset, we aimed to keep our IT department lean and focus on building new services for the business, rather than worrying about keeping the lights on.”

Have you considered the benefits of a cloud managed services provider to elevate your team up the business value chain?

How to select a cloud managed services provider

Selecting the right managed cloud provider is a very important decision. To help you with it, here are key criterion you should consider:

  1. Core expertise in infrastructure, workload, application management and professional services: Look for a provider that understands your business needs, can suggest the best solutions and then execute in a way that ensures success.
  2. Support for different hardware types and virtualization platforms: Pay attention to whether the provider can match the workload to the infrastructure that can best support it. I call this “best fitting” versus “forced fitting.”
  3. Hybrid management expertise: The provider should be able to split workloads and data among different physical and virtual environments to provide the best cost and performance benefits.
  4. Robust security and compliance assurance: Look for security expertise and capabilities that are equal to or exceed what you can do on your own to ensure workloads and data remain accessible at all times. Check to see if the provider can prove compliance and whether it has comprehensive capabilities that help you address your regulatory compliance.
  5. Robust portfolio of managed services: Look beyond the basic cloud managed services offering for added value, such as assistance with tasks such as environment configuration, governance and management of specialized workloads from popular enterprise apps. It’s important to check that your provider offers multiple service-level agreement options that match your variable business requirements.

**Cognitive and analytics expertise:

Check to see that your provider has proven capability integrating cognitive and analytics with cloud managed services. You don’t want to limit your potential by selecting a provider that only offers a managed infrastructure.

By making the move to cloud managed services, your team can focus on developing innovative solutions and services, instead of the day-to-day upkeep.

Learn how you can optimize your hybrid cloud infrastructure.

This article was originally published on Mobile Business Insights.