They’re called servers for a reason: They’re there to serve your business, not the other way around. Migrating them to a managed cloud lets you take the capital and operating expenses associated with on-premises solutions and plow them into IT projects that have bigger business benefits.

In fact, 60 percent of IT decision-makers in a Forrester survey said that cloud computing has given their teams more time to focus on strategy and innovation. That means if you’re just now developing a managed cloud strategy, there’s no shortage of successful implementations to learn from. CDW has helped more than 250,000 businesses of all sizes and verticals migrate to managed clouds, including the popular hybrid route. CDW’s process begins with identifying the customer’s business goals and then determining the type of cloud service that will achieve them.

Businesses that have been using the cloud for years may consult with CDW when it is time to refine their strategy. One client had gone through several mergers and acquisitions over the past few years and wound up contracted with six cloud providers as a result. CDW has strategic partnerships with all of the leading cloud providers, so we work to find the one that best fits each customer’s unique business goals and requirements. This vendor-neutral approach helps that client determine which provider to standardize on.

Industry-Specific Security

Even verticals that traditionally have kept all of their data on-premises are now aggressively migrating to managed cloud. Healthcare organizations are moving everything from electronic health records to decision-making support.

“I predict that five years from now, none of us will have data centers,” said John Halamka, CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, earlier this year. “We’re going to go out to the cloud to find EHRs, clinical decision support, analytics.”

CDW’s work in the healthcare industry also exemplifies how it helps organizations choose the cloud solution that best meets their vertical’s unique requirements, including compliance with industry-specific regulations and best practices. Concerns about privacy and security, for example, have kept some healthcare organizations from migrating to the cloud — concerns that other verticals can relate to. However, experts say that patient records, credit card information, product roadmaps and other confidential data are actually safer in the cloud than on-premises because cloud providers have a vested interest in protecting their clients’ data.

Breaches undermine their ability to get and keep customers, so cloud providers allocate enough resources for frequent security audits and timely patch installations in their data centers. In many IT departments, these critical tasks often get pushed to the back-burner because staff are swamped with so many other projects.

Data-Specific Strategies

CDW also helps businesses determine which types of data can move to the cloud and which types need to reside in dedicated racks in a colocation environment with a cloud connection. The vendor-neutral approach we use is key here, too, because it has the freedom to recommend the provider best qualified to meet each unique set of requirements.

IT teams have a lot on their plates, so CDW can also help by managing a new cloud implementation for the first year. That role includes more than just managing virtual machines and storage. For example, we can provide invoice management to help customers identify and avoid budget-busting shadow IT projects, such as a department that spins up a bunch of test beds without IT’s approval.

Learn more about CDW’s aggregation, infrastructure and managed service offerings.

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