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7 Questions You Should Ask an MSP Before Hiring Them to Migrate You to the Cloud

7 Questions You Should Ask an MSP Before Hiring Them to Migrate You to the Cloud

Cloud migration is more complex than it might seem at first. Companies often find that out the hard way.

There are a lot of options, and each one has pros and cons. For example, do you want to lift and shift your data, refactor applications, or replatform? Do you need a private cloud or a hybrid approach? Do you have the staffing and expertise to handle the migration and handle the new infrastructure?

If a cloud migration isn’t done right, it can be expensive. Storage costs, data egress fees, downtime, and compliance problems add up fast. While the majority of companies say their primary reasons for moving operations to the cloud are reliability and cost reduction, McKinsey research shows that more than $100 billion in migration spend is wasted. While most cloud migrations go smoothly and stay within budget, when the process isn’t managed properly from start to finish, businesses pay the price.

How you handle cloud migration and who you partner with to make it happen is a crucial decision. Before hiring a Managed Service Partner (MSP) to guide your cloud migration, you need to ask the right questions.

Here are some of the key items you will want to discuss before hiring an MSP for cloud migration.


#1 What is your process for cloud migration?

Every business operates slightly differently, and each industry has its own set of compliance requirements. So, you want a solution that fits your business, not a cookie-cutter approach. The best MSPs will do a comprehensive analysis of your current environment, applications, and business needs. When you ask about the process, you should hear a step-by-step plan that includes:

  • Defining business purpose
  • Evaluating current environment
  • Discussing cloud migration options
  • Choosing the right architecture
  • Determining deployment models
  • Prioritizing migration components
  • Providing a cost breakdown for migration
  • Establishing performance benchmarks

All this needs to happen before cloud migration can begin to avoid making costly mistakes and to ensure you end up with a cloud environment that will serve your needs for the future.


#2 What’s the total cost of ownership (TCO)?

There should be transparency about costs, not just for the migration but for the anticipated total costs of ownership (TCO) for managing cloud resources going forward. You need a firm understanding of how cloud migration and working with an MSP will impact your bottom line.

Migrating to the cloud provides significant advantages, but it can also get expensive. A report by Gartner indicates that cloud costs can run two to three times higher than expected, so knowing the TCO before you commit is essential.


#3 What are your credentials?

You want to work with an MSP that has deep experience with cloud migrations and specializes in IT and cloud services. For example, if you are migrating to Microsoft Azure, you want to work with a Microsoft Gold Partner. A Microsoft Gold Partner has best-in-class competencies for cloud migration and management and buys licenses directly from Microsoft, cutting out any reseller costs.

Look for an MSP that goes the extra step to get certified by an independent third-party, such as the MSP Alliance VerifyTM certification. The best MSPs will also undergo a third-party audit, such as a SOC 2 Type 2 report, to validate internal controls on data handling, governance, and risk mitigation.


#4 Where will my data be located?

In real estate, it’s all about location. Better locations drive higher prices. In the cloud, location matters, too. The closer data resides to the end user, the faster those users — you — can access it. Nearby storage reduces latency in response.

There are also data localization requirements that certain data is required to be kept within specific jurisdictions.


#5 What services do you provide?

Some MSPs specialize in certain areas, so you want to make sure you work with a best-in-class provider for the areas that are important to you.

For example, you may want fully managed IT or co-managed IT services, managed security, managed cloud services, or all of these. Make sure the services you need are core competencies of the MSP you choose.


#6 Can I see your SLA?

A service-level agreement (SLA) defines the level of service an MSP will provide. While the specifics may vary based on your business needs and the type of service you contract for, make sure to carefully review the SLA for items like:

  • Scope of services
  • Responsibilities and reporting
  • Service level targets
  • System uptime
  • Time to respond/restore
  • Security measures


#7 What are your core values?

The decision to choose an MSP that specialized in cloud migration and management can have a significant impact on your business for years to come, so you want to partner with a provider that embodies the right values. For example, Sagiss operates with four core company values that impact everything we do.

  1. Transparent, not sticky: We always act in the best interest of our clients and provide the best solutions (not the most profitable ones for us). You get transparency in everything we do.
  2. Commitment to personal growth: We create an environment that fosters personal and professional growth to create success for team members and clients.
  3. Intensely calm: Our team is always professional, respectful, and calm under pressure.
  4. Relentlessly systematic: Cloud migration and management take careful planning and a systematic approach. We maintain a relentless focus on the details.


Choose the Right MSP for Your Business

When choosing an MSP, you need to do your due diligence and ask the right questions to find the right partner. An MSP should have the expertise to break down the complexity of cloud migration and help you make informed decisions to futureproof your IT infrastructure and cloud resources.

Looking for the right MSP? Get in touch with the cloud migration experts at Sagiss today.

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