The debate over cloud consumption is settled. Ninety-five percent of enterprises and small/medium businesses are using some type of cloud, according to RightScale’s 2016 State of the Cloud Report.

But that’s not where the discussion ends. When customers are looking to take an application to the cloud there are many considerations. One of the first questions for an infrastructure conversation should be: “What type of cloud implementation will be pursued – private, public or hybrid?” Private cloud setups, which require dedicated resources and technical expertise, are typically reserved for larger organizations with data sovereignty or protection needs; applications that require large amounts of input/output operations per second (IOPS); or those companies that need to use hardware that has not yet fully depreciated (amongst a few other reasons).

On the other hand, the public cloud offers faster implementation and easier storage, which is often at a lower cost and without capital expense. Although many firms have already deployed workloads in the public cloud, they’re typically reserved to new projects versus moving resources from on-premises or private environments to off-premises or public environments.

It Takes Two

This is why a combination of public and private is becoming a popular choice for many organizations. Here’s proof: In that same Rightscale report, 71 percent of customers reported using a hybrid cloud versus an exclusively public or private cloud. Hybrid cloud allows a client to find the solution that best fits their needs in the near term, while offering flexibility in the changing landscape for the longer term.

There are distinct advantages that the cloud can provide, and a smooth migration to a cloud environment is essential to gaining the maximum return on your investment. Most firms will look to experts like Datapipe, a managed services provider, to assist with the migration, ensure the applications perform properly in their new surroundings and offer ongoing management and support for those applications.

Going the Extra Mile

Working with a partner who has experience in specific industries can help determine which services meet the right mix of cost, performance and service assurances that an organization needs.

Here is what a managed services provider can deliver:

  • Assessment: The first component of any effective, comprehensive cloud migration is the assessment. This assessment must take into account the impact a migration will have on the organization, as well as any application or workflow interdependencies. In the majority of cases, this will include the entirety of the company’s existing IT infrastructure, all of which must be audited, inventoried and analyzed. Firms must inventory and audit their physical, virtual and logical networks in order to properly analyze the “what and how.”
  • Planning: Once an assessment is complete, it is essential to plan out migration detail in order to minimize complications and ensure that security and compliance standards are maintained at all times. Very few customers are equipped with the teams and expertise for the full workflow plan. Service providers can ensure that the committed plans are comprehensive and executable based on best practices, use case scenarios and guides like the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). Every organization has the potential for unique challenges with their migration. Partners who have executed these plans on a large scale provide a higher probability of success.
  • Oversight: It is important to keep a close eye on the effectiveness of the migration strategy, both during the actual migration as well as in the immediate aftermath. Considering the complexity of cloud deployments, customers should work to anticipate potential issues before they arise. With keen oversight and another set of eyes, organizations can mitigate significant delays or inefficiencies.

As cloud deployments become an integral part of IT delivery for nearly every business, it’s wise to leverage managed services to supply every bit of value the cloud promises. Those services are often the center of a successful cloud strategy, from initial planning to lifecycle management.

If you have questions about how to deploy your organization’s cloud migration, ask your CDW account manager to set up a meeting with an Aggregation Integration and Managed Services specialist.

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