What Are Cloud Service Providers And Why Your Business Needs One

cloud-computersIn 2006, Eric Schmidt, the Google CEO, used the term ‘cloud computing’ at a conference. In the 14 years since, it’s become essential to running a business, especially in 2020 as we all learned about working from home.

The last decade has seen impressive growth within the industry, with cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Service revolutionising public cloud standards. An IBM study in 2009 said that more than 60% of businesses saw using the cloud as a way to grow their business while gaining advantages over their competitors. Ten years later in 2019, 91% of businesses used a cloud service in some form. In 2020, the year of remote working, surely that figure will reach as close to 100% as possible.

There are challenges when choosing which cloud service works best for your business, with a range of options and all having some benefits over another service. However, there are some simple options for small to medium-sized enterprises that offer:

  • Flexibility
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Ease of use with little to no technical knowledge required

Using a CSP (Cloud Solution Provider) partner takes away all the guesswork. Rather than interfacing with Microsoft directly, using a local provider means your relationship is face to face, with a team right where you are. Everything is managed locally, you can manage your own subscription, and there’s a 24/7 dedicated support team. There are six main benefits to using a Microsoft CSP like that offered by Umbrellar.

Benefit one: Cost

Your business is growing, and seemingly there are projects and plans happening everywhere. Understanding the costs for projects, optimising investments, and predicting future expenses become much simpler when using finance tracking tools embedded in the software.

Know what you’re spending, where, and get insights into forecasting into future cloud spend.

Benefit two: Security

Is your data safe in the cloud? Can your staff and customers trust the security of the cloud system? Even if you follow all documentation when provisioning and architecting your cloud resources, security needs are constantly changing. As well as the constant need to keep up with technology, hackers and scammers are working overtime to access and exploit weaknesses in systems. Using a good CSP means you’ll have the right tools to identify risks and suspicious behaviour. Any PCI compliance audits become much less of a worry when you can trust the partner you’re working with.

Benefit three: In-house skills

Anyone who has tried to hire a cloud engineer, architect, or DevOps specialist, knows that they are rare, highly qualified (and expensive) and something that 97% of SME’s can’t sustain.

A CSP already has these people on board, giving you support as you need, without having to hire full-time experts. You can use the experts as needed, while keeping your funds and time invested where they count—in your business.

Benefit four: Local knowledge

Microsoft has divided up its geographic regions, and each area has a selection of approved Microsoft CSP providers. This means you get local people who understand your challenging geographical market and can help create a solution for your unique needs. With a 24/7 on-call team, you can relax knowing that there’s a dedicated team ready to help if disaster strikes.

Benefit five: Hybrid solutions

Public cloud, or private cloud? If you need a complex multi-cloud strategy, this can be a recipe for many partners. Your CSP should be able to help you manage all aspects of your cloud computing through them- no multiple suppliers and relationships. Easy.

Benefit six: End-to-end migration support

Some businesses use hardware and technology that is reaching (or has reached and surpassed) the end of its life. However, this hardware is essential and used day to day, not allowing time for migration or changes, and definitely not prepared for a disaster.

Migrating these legacy systems over to the cloud could be a catastrophic mess unless done right. A good CSP will assess the existing systems, and after a complex analysis will be able to formulate a plan that minuses risk.

With a goal of no downtime, no failures and no unhappy users, a CSP takes an uncertain system and using powerful migration toolkits, ensures expected results.

CSP’s take the guesswork and stress away

If your business needs to move to the cloud, it’s time to contact a local CSP and get your digital transformation underway. They give you flexibility and the freedom to make the best financial and functional decisions for your business. CSP’s offer 24/7 local support and the ability to have a face to face relationship – no need for frustrating phone calls or emails with those that don’t understand your local situation.