Mitigate Talent-Drain and Free Your IT Staff With a Cloud MSP

The benefits of public cloud adoption  

Public cloud adoption has accelerated to the point that virtually all businesses have a footprint in the cloud, and for good reason. Public clouds not only enable IT professionals to adjust quickly to business imperatives like agility, enhanced security, and economy—they also allow companies to overcome obstacles like operational silos, complexity, and staffing and skill deficiencies. 

Most importantly, public clouds have radically improved productivity. 

The cloud enables opportunities that simply would not exist otherwise, providing access to increasingly more efficient and innovative programs and processes. This means it takes fewer people to run larger and more complicated environments. Much like the way tractors improved agricultural productivity in the last century by orders of magnitude, public clouds have reduced labor requirements by orders of magnitude.

Public cloud vulnerabilities & risk mitigation 

Still, utilizing a few people to complete the work of many comes with its own set of problems.  

Even though technically competent and certified cloud engineers are expensive, the amount of work they produce results in a lower cost of operation for greater work output across the spectrum of IT activities. However, a smaller staff can become a serious vulnerability if one or two team members change jobs or become ill. Business disruption is almost inevitable when that happens, and it usually isn’t restricted to erratic production issues. It’s likely to also include security shortcomings, and it almost always causes new projects to be postponed.  

This means that any company efficient in exploiting the public cloud is probably heavily leveraged with its people and, most likely, the risk profiles of that company are red whether they realize it or not. 

There is a way to mitigate this risk by removing operational dependency on a small group of high-cost, highly skilled individuals and replacing it with operational dependency on a huge group of highly skilled individuals on a global scale. 

Working with a trusted managed services provider (MSP) can help you manage any disruption caused by IT resource attrition. 

3 things to look for in an MSP 

How can you find the right MSP with a group of highly skilled individuals that can free your IT team and mitigate your talent-drain? Here are three things you should look for: 

  • Service-level Agreements (SLAs) that suit your business needs: Can’t afford to be down for the count for hours or days? Then make finding an MSP that can provide tight SLAs a priority. You’ll find that MSPs with direct control of resources can provide surprisingly quick SLAs. While speaking with a potential MSP, confirm that you will receive actual SLAs that generate reimbursement credits automatically if the SLAs are exceeded. You want more than loosely enforced service level objectives.  
  • A price your pocketbook can afford: An increase in public cloud adoption also means MSPs with varying capabilities are available to support your business needs. While finding a price you can afford is important, don’t sacrifice your must-haves—otherwise, you might find your business’s risk profile in red yet again.  
  • Flexible contract models: As your business evolves, so do its needs, but long-term contracts can leave your business stuck paying for services it no longer needs. Some flexible contract models allow you to consume services just as if your business was an EC2 or S3, paying for only what you use and being able to resume your own management if you no longer want the service.   

Know your MSP’s limitations 

Even with seemingly fantastic benefits, every MSP has some limitations. Some of the most reliable, scalable and secure providers will only manage their own native functions that are amenable to standardization, automation and the application of artificial intelligence.  

What does that mean? That if your MSP is assuming responsibility for everything but your data, they want the system to be perfect. 

Look for an MSP that works with a wide range of vendors. In some instances, an MSP with a large arsenal of partnerships is obligated to manage native partner services not yet in a partner catalog, and any non-native services that are running by the partner on the same terms and with the same experience delivered by the partner. This puts the MSP in a unique position to operate as one unified team with a partner where alerting, monitoring, resolution, cost and terms are identical. 

Work with an MSP to mitigate talent-drain and free your IT staff 

Because of the distribution of labor, an MSP can retain the capacity to deliver professional project services on demand. With the right MSP, you can engage them for everything from virtual staff augmentation, design, and migration, to full management of their environments with an improved operating model. This means that you not only mitigate the risk of talent drain on operations, but that you also can accelerate projects at any time, get professional security help whenever needed, and avoid hiring for transient business demands. 

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