As explained in Part 1 of this 2-part blog, cloud-based services implementations work best when companies view the cloud as a strategy and are focused on leveraging the cloud to achieve their business objectives over time. This approach leads to flexible cloud deployments that consider both short and longer-term needs. An important outcome is that this allows you to leverage pre-existing investments in time, people, and technology infrastructure so that they are best utilized. In this series, we’ve summarized six succinct evaluation considerations that share parts of this experience as well as the sentiments of many of our customers who have been through the cloud-based services evaluation and adoption process themselves. Part 1 outlined the first three:
Consideration 1 – Focus less on cloud-based services than on achieving your business goals.
Consideration 2 – Simplicity is critical.
Below are the final three thoughts to consider.
Consideration 4 – Take the first step with visibility down the road.
Are you buying a service out of the box, or engaging with a strategic partner? There are cloud-based services out there that are point services. This means that they are designed to resolve a specific issue and are built around answering a finite set of questions. Looking at cloud-based services should be more. The true advantage to cloud deployments is realized when companies take a strategic view. Then the quest is not just “what am I going to do immediately.” Rather, it becomes “what do I intend to do over time, and how can I create the best long-term value for my company”. A service provider should support the long-term vision. Said differently, knowing that you will move to additional cloud-based services over time to gain additional efficiencies and capabilities, ask yourself the following question — have you committed yourself to increased overhead and management expense, or did you lay the groundwork from the beginning to create a modular, growth-enabled environment where each progressive step gets easier and easier?
Compliance issues impact every company in some way, shape or form. When it comes to cloud-based services, ensuring compliance with SOC, HIPAA, or PCI standards are commonplace concerns. However, what most service provider organizations offer is “check the box” compliance. That means that they do self-assessments or write internal policies to that they have the requisite strengths and credentials. The critical consideration for business leaders is that compliance is dominantly about data security. It is not enough to simply check boxes on a checklist. The stark reality for everyone in today’s cyberattack-ridden world is that security is a moving target. Therefore, a critical concern for selecting a cloud-based services partner is ensuring they’re on the cutting edge of security standards. The right partner with the right internal policies procedures and engineering expertise can provide a security blanket far more robust and responsive than your on-premises infrastructure. A commitment to dynamic, real-time security management is critical. With this rigor in place, the cloud-based services you receive will be protected at the highest levels (on this point, we’ve seen wonderful client reviews posted recently in Gartner Peer Insights regarding our Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) offering in, where we earned 5 out of 5 stars).
Consideration 6 – Follow the crowd. Avoid the learning curve.
Cloud-based services are not a new concept anymore. The rates of adoption and success stories extend to all industries and organizations of all sizes. The question to ask yourself is where are people having success? Select a partner who has successfully supported its customers and has a proven track record of success. Find someone whose customers are proud to talk about them and whose customers have grown with them over time. A positive reputation and a stable roster of long-tenured clients can only be built through repeated success, and a focus on continuous value creation. By following their lead, you avoid participating in some other firm’s learning curve.
One final consideration – Ask how Evolve IP can help with your cloud strategy.
There’s a good chance we can help you grow. Whether you are about to make your first foray into cloud-based services, or you have completed multiple cloud-based deployments, Evolve IP can help you experience the difference of “Cloud-as-a-Strategy”. We offer the industry’s broadest and deepest selection of cloud-based services, based on OneCloudTM – our unified, compliance-driven infrastructure the serves as the foundation for our suite of widely-awarded communications and computing solutions. Serving virtually every industry — from healthcare and financial services, to manufacturing, technology and beyond –we’re proud of our 98% customer retention rate and the fact that nearly 1,500 companies trust Evolve IP as their cloud strategy partner.