Cloud-based applications can offer greater flexibility, scalability, and security than “traditional” applications that aren’t in the cloud, thanks to a distinct architecture that allows for growth in an ever-evolving technological landscape. However, the transition from traditional apps to cloud-based apps can be tricky, especially if your staff is unprepared and your resources are insufficient. IT decision-makers should consider partnering with a managed services provider (MSP) to help with their cloud app management.
MSPs offer a wide variety of services to help those working in companies both large and small adapt to changing IT needs. Here are ten ways an MSP can help you maximize your cloud app management.
- Validate application transition to the cloud — If your IT team is transitioning your enterprise apps to the cloud, it’s vital that you determine what apps will and won’t work in the cloud. Before making the leap, make sure a cloud transition will not affect application availability. Are your IT systems and staff members prepared to meet the challenges of managing the transition to the cloud and applications on the cloud? An MSP with expertise regarding your applications should be able to validate the apps’ successful transition to the cloud. This transition might require some changes to the overall application architecture to optimally utilize cloud resources. An MSP can also review current resource utilization and forecast future resource utilization for transitional periods, such as when a company is migrating to the cloud.
- System administration and user management — Do you have a user account provisioning (UAP) system in place, the process for creating and managing access to resources in an IT system and for applications you migrate to the cloud? Any reliable UAP process should be accessible, consistent, and safe. An MSP can help manage your user accounts and properly delegate user access.
- System operations and management — Hybrid IT, which blends the best of both cloud-based and traditional computing, is gaining steam. And this transition will likely continue in coming years as more tech leaders integrate their systems. During this process, devise a management plan for hybrid IT systems and be ready to adapt to a changing infrastructure. MSPs can help you with backups, archiving, restoration, patch management, and more.
- Performance testing and tuning — It’s important to ensure your applications are running optimally to streamline processes and mitigate downtime. Testing helps “identify bottlenecks in a system” as well as assesses application readiness and overall quality. Your MSP can help you evaluate risks and track testing successes along the way. This provider can also help you improve performance through application tuning.
- App testing, deployment, and scaling — During this phase, it’s important to consider test frequency, cost, risk, and efficacy. Does your in-house IT team have the necessary bandwidth and resources to properly test and deploy apps in the cloud? A good MSP will have ample experience in scaling and other development aspects.
- Change management — Change management is the process related to minimizing disruptive incidents. Even small incidents can have large consequences, such as a minor software change that propagates into a server failure. An MSP can assist you in overseeing software changes at every level of the development process to mitigate disruptions.
- App and database management — It can be difficult to manage data dispersed across various systems and stored in different applications. MSP expertise in both cloud-based applications and technology can provide 360-degree coverage. This helps keep your data out of silos, creating more cloud interoperability.
- Computer and storage resource optimization — Storage optimization comes in a variety of forms, such as data reduction, including deduplication, single instancing, and compression. MSPs can guide you in storage optimization and utilization: By making the most of what you have and paring down what you don’t need, you can save time and money.
- Unwarranted resource cleanup — Similar to storage optimization, MSPs can help you assess what other resources you can do without. Are you paying for two applications that essentially do the same thing? An MSP can and will tell you. You can also leverage an MSP’s as-needed or shared services to scale resources when you need them and avoid costs for using them when you don’t.
- Optimal resource and infrastructure resizing — By selecting a small IT infrastructure, you could see a performance gap, whereas an oversized infrastructure can be unwieldy and adapt too slowly to change. It’s key to assess your needs and plan for an optimal infrastructure size based on your company’s needs; an MSP can help with the evaluation and resizing process.
An MSP can also provide essential services for application management, including overall IT health and optimization. By partnering with an expert, those in your company can be better equipped to deal with changes and streamline processes through improved cloud application performance. From reducing costs and resource strains to filling organizational gaps with expert resources, you can leverage an MSP to improve business operations and, ultimately, the bottom line.