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Informed consumers: how IT decision makers best leverage MSPs to optimise their IT strategy

In order to optimise their IT strategy, IT decision makers need to learn three things: firstly, generally they can’t accomplish everything they’d like using only in-house resource, secondly, they need to understand what services an MSP (Managed Services Provider) can offer, and thirdly they need to view their chosen MSP as a trusted partner for the relationship to be as fruitful as possible. If you manage to do all of these things, you become an informed consumer, and your organisation will benefit because the IT strategy supporting it will be stable, flexible, future proof and cost efficient.

By leveraging the expertise of an MSP, IT decision makers not only have access to an extended operational IT team who can take away some of the rigmarole of ‘keeping the lights on’, but also, they gain access to a consultative partner who can guide their business through the process of cloud adoption, migration, and work with them to develop technology roadmaps for the future.

The great thing about becoming an informed consumer is that you begin to understand the benefits of working with an MSP, by getting to see the processes which underpin their results. This in turn allows you to contextualise the monitoring data provided by an MSP and take these insights back to other areas of your business. It is of utmost importance that an MSP helps you in this process, by guiding and transparently showcasing its inner workings, keeping you in control.

A customer's perspective: Journeying to the cloud - migrating away from a legacy platform

This blog is used with permission from Sift, the digital agency, who are a customer of Claranet's. The original blog can be found here.

A few years ago a venture capitalist told me the secret of success when growing a technology business was to sell the company within a single technology cycle. His reasoning was that you really didn’t want the hassle and risks of transitioning your platform from one paradigm to the next. This post is for those of us with longer term aspirations.

In our case, the project started in 2007 and culminated six years later with Sift’s CIO Chris Wood switching off our servers at Verizon just before Xmas last year (as evidenced by the empty racks and redundant servers below), consolidating everything with Claranet and Amazon.

Cloud adoption through the prism

Whether you label it cloud, or managed, or hosted, or as-a-service, or something else – its lexicon is growing with its ubiquity – it is clear that more businesses in the mid-market are beginning to take advantage of the many benefits ‘it’ entails.

According to findings from the 2013 Claranet Research Programme 73 per cent of businesses were using some form of cloud service compared with 62 per cent the year before.

The benefits from utilising cloud - scalability, resiliency, efficiency and sustainability - are beginning to outweigh the concerns businesses previously had in terms of adoption.

Particularly for SMBs where the IT function of organisations is often not that developed, the pressure to succeed with less internal resource is more pronounced. Therefore the need to outsource day-to-day responsibility, while retaining executive control, is a particularly attractive option, as it allows stretched IT teams to concentrate on making a noticeable difference on a more strategic level.

Why Virtual Data Centre may be less expensive than on-premise servers

I am an Infrastructure-as-a -Service (IaaS) evangelist and having had the pleasure to work with Virtual Data Centre (VDC) during my time at Claranet, I can comprehensively say it is the future of hosting.

I often work with customers to build an ROI model, taking into account all the business benefits gained and all the costs saved.

Often they still turn to me and say:

‘For the same internal resource considered over a 3 year contract your VDC comes out twice as expensive as my on premise servers. I am not convinced all the other benefits are worth that much’

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