Managed Cloud Services vs non-managed – what’s best for SMEs?Sarah Whitworth
In our recent article ‘Five things SMEs gain from leveraging the Cloud’ we talked about significant benefits small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) can gain by moving to, and leveraging cloud technologies. We also talked about how working with a Managed Cloud Service Provider, like us, could fast-track your business towards those benefits. Here we take a deeper look into what an MCSP is, and the strategic benefits that this partnership could bring.
Firstly, what are ‘Managed’ Cloud Services?
Managed Cloud Services are delivered by a Managed Cloud Services Provider (MCSP) – an external IT support agency specifically focused on helping you maximise and leverage the cloud. Instead of you working directly with a cloud provider such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services, the MCSP works on your behalf and ‘manages’ your cloud infrastructure for you. Acting as an extension of your IT department by managing, monitoring, and keeping your cloud infrastructure safe, secure, and up-to-date – they provide expertise, tools, and processes that most SMEs can’t match on their own. So instead of you having to be a cloud expert and know when to upgrade, what products to use, what to back up, and when – the MCSP does all of this for you. You have a team of senior cloud experts at your fingertips, without the added cost to your payroll.
What are non-managed cloud services?
This is where you would pay for cloud services directly from the provider such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services, and you manage the relationship direct. You are the cloud expert. Support comes from a large and wide support desk, so you’re not guaranteed the same person each time. Many cloud providers do offer some kind of managed service nowadays, but due to the vast number of clients they support, you may not get the personal experience or support that your growing business needs at this crucial stage.
Do I need a Managed Cloud Service?
If we compare managed vs non-managed cloud services, the huge difference is personal service and focus on your business – you won’t get this if you opt for non-managed. If you have ambitions to grow, to innovate service delivery, to reduce risk, and gain greater efficiencies – but find yourself with little time to focus on those ambitions, then opting for a Managed Cloud Service is highly recommended. Partnering with an MCSP provides you with the peace of mind that your cloud infrastructure is maximised, safe and secure – freeing up your time to focus on your business, instead of fire-fighting, handling back-ups or administering updates.
An MCSP can help you leverage the cloud to be…
1. More flexible and agile than those who are not
How? Well, cloud-based services are flexible. You can scale up or down, as your business ebbs and flows. This level of flexibility gives you a serious competitive advantage in terms of efficiency and agility to move quickly when the market shifts, customer demands change or when your business needs to respond to a change in demand. Your MCSP will help you to adjust your cloud services to match the needs of the business as it grows.
2. Less worried about data breaches, security, or loss of revenue due to tech failures
With most cloud providers you benefit from getting enterprise-level data governance and IT security, which is in line with the ever-increasing need to secure customer data and privacy. Your MCSP ensures that your cloud solutions are always up-to-date with security, your data is backed up and the risk of data loss and security breaching is kept at a minimum.
3. Up-to-date with software, reducing IT costs
Moving to the cloud can reduce your IT costs significantly, being on the cloud and not physical servers it means upgrades and updates to software and systems are easier and have less impact on day-to-day business activity. Ensuring your systems are up-to-date also reduces security issues and potential loss of earnings due to systems being down. MCSPs issue regular updates, working with your business to keep your business running at optimum levels.
4. A collaborative business, no matter where you are
Cloud technology provides you with the flexibility to work from anywhere with an internet connection, at any time. Your MCSP can help you set up, manage and maintain this network, allowing for smooth collaboration between your business, customers, and suppliers.
5. Gain a competitive edge
SMEs that harness the cloud have the opportunity to gain a competitive edge over their competitors in all areas of the business, from service innovation that directly impacts the customer experience, to automation that removes time-consuming admin tasks. Your cloud infrastructure is the foundation on which you build your systems and processes, therefore working with an MCSP to help you maximise the cloud, is almost a no-brainer.
What Managed Cloud Services do I need?
The range of managed cloud services you may need will depend on your business structure, your technology requirements and growth plans. You may want an MCSP to run your entire cloud infrastructure, or you may just want cloud hosting, or your existing IT specialist/team might just need some extra cloud expertise.
Choosing the best Managed Cloud Services provider
There are many MCSP’s to choose from, and finding the right partner to work with can be difficult. Many are just ‘providers’ so what you need to look for is a company who will become your ‘partner’. This is where we come in. We are HAYNE Solutions, and we work with companies like yours to unlock the power of cloud. We offer HAYNE.cloud, which is a managed cloud solution, powered by Microsoft Azure. We have everything you need to get your business set up and ready to leverage the cloud.
Start leveraging the cloud and contact us
It could be the difference between you surviving and thriving in 2021 and beyond.