The value of adding managed/hosted services as you reach for the clouds Posted on March 7, 2017 by Tim Burke If your organization is like most others, it’s using plenty of cloud services – an average of five if yours is a small or mid–size operation, 18 if it’s large. After all, maintaining in-house IT infrastructure drains valuable time, effort, and management bandwidth for the sake of capabilities that today’s hyperscale public cloud environments can provide far more effectively. Never forget: that’s your data But never forget: the data you place in those cloud infrastructures – and often the applications, too – are yours. Not the cloud providers’. Responsibility for the care and feeding of those data and applications – your data and applications – is yours, too. Not the cloud providers’. Meanwhile, all those workloads you keep in the clouds are adding complexity – not merely the intricacies of monitoring and managing complicated core business application performance, but also protecting those apps and the data that feed them. Then there’s the orchestrating and optimizing of interactions between multiple public, private, and/or hybrid cloud environments and the managing of diverse service-level agreements. Wrangling your clouds with managed/hosted services So, tempted as you may be to think that shunting off all those formerly in-house workloads to an ever-widening assortment of clouds pretty much solves your IT problems – think again. Because unless you’ve explicitly bought services to oversee those data, processes, and apps, they will succumb to the entropy of complexity. The fact is: your cloud services need to be managed, and often the best way to do this is with a cloud-aware managed/hosted services provider experienced in using automation to monitor and manage as much as possible to ensure consistency and reduce human error. Do you know, for example, whether your access controls include multifactor authentication? Are your operating systems and enterprise apps being monitored and managed 24 x 7? Is your data really being backed up and replicated as you expect? Have you sorted out all those SLAs? Cloud-savvy remote operational support Cloud-aware managed/hosted services providers offer day-to-day remote operational support of the shared services model at the center of your cloud strategy. Regardless of the way you engage cloud computing, a cloud-aware managed/hosted services provider – one offering a scope of services and the ability to uniquely customize them to your needs and goals – can deliver the management and oversight your increasingly diverse technology environment requires while you liberate your IT staff to innovate for your business. In my next post, I’ll review what to look for in a cloud-aware managed/hosted services provider.