Nov 07, 2017

Partnering with the right provider for your cloud strategy is critical.

In some ways, cloud computing is beginning to be treated as a commodity. With so many providers offering similar solutions, with no real differentiators, its understandable that some people view them as the same.

On the outside looking in, deploying a cloud solution can seem like a simple matter with minimal competitive differentiation between vendors. A closer look reveals an extremely competitive marketplace where a few service provider strategies can mean the difference between a valuable cloud partnership and a plan that gradually becomes more expensive and unwieldy over time. Cloud providers can differentiate themselves from the competition in a few ways, and businesses would be wise to look for vendor traits that align with their operational needs.

A few standout differentiators include:

Consultative Partnership Models

Many cloud providers build their services around a barebones setup in terms of organizational overhead. Clients say what they want, the vendor tries to live up to those specs and the migration happens with minimal collaboration between parties. This arrangement can be an easy and efficient way to move into the cloud, but it isn’t adequate for critical business workloads or organizations handling regulated data.

Issues like risk management can have an acute impact on a cloud program’s success, and vendors that take a consultative approach can give clients an edge.

“A Risk Management Framework for Cloud Migration Decision Support,” a study published in the Journal of Risk and Financial Management, explained that depending on the cloud creates a unique risk scenario where the vendor and the client share responsibilities and dependencies on one another. Businesses must identify which partner will be responsible for different activities to set themselves up on solid footing to control risk during a cloud migration.

Managed Solutions

The cloud industry is split between managed and non-managed services, a trend that extends across the cloud services and hosting sectors. A 451 Research study found that 57 percent of IT leaders plan to move toward managed setups for hybrid and multi-cloud configurations, Forbes reported.

Cloud providers that offer managed solutions can simplify a cloud plan by minimizing the day-to-day tasks required to maintain and support a cloud. There are use cases when businesses should manage their own clouds, but organizations hoping to maximize value need to make sure they understand exactly what the vendor offers relative to the marketplace. Excellent managed solutions can provide a meaningful competitive advantage.

Multiple, Interconnected Data Centers

Pretty much every cloud provider is going to have a good data center (hopefully). However, the cloud doesn’t depend on a single facility to support systems. Most infrastructure and solutions feature redundancies across multiple locations and the ability to route data to the facility that makes the most sense for the workload.

Because of this, businesses don’t need a cloud provider with just a good hosting deal; they often require vendors that provide a full suite of data center services, ranging from network connections between facilities to power, water and other utility management. Cloud configurations depend on interconnected systems spread across multiple locations. Vendors that are great at building and managing these environments can offer performance and reliability that other service providers can’t easily match.

Optimizing cloud performance and creating value from enterprise cloud strategies hinges on choosing the right vendor for each workload. Lume offers the ability to simplify this situation through a robust, cost-efficient service model that incorporates managed cloud solutions across a wide range of geographically distributed facilities. Our network ensures quality performance anywhere, and it comes backed by a partnership and service model that can adapt to meet your needs.

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