The technology market includes a number of private cloud solution providers with different capabilities and ranges of expertise. With so many potential partners to choose from, how can you find the right vendor to meet your organization’s private cloud needs? We’ve put together some key points to consider as you evaluate your options.
Conduct a Thorough Evaluation
Set your business up for the best long-term results by selecting a partner that can properly assess your readiness to move to a private cloud. Before you can chart a course to success, your provider should conduct a thorough evaluation of your IT environment. This gives you and your vendor an understanding of any gaps that may exist and enables you to address those issues as part of your cloud deployment. The right partner will also explore the workloads and applications may want to move to your private cloud to ensure your migration path is efficient, realistic, and delivers the value you expect.
A trusted private cloud solution provider should have broad experience supporting multi-vendor environments and integrations. Few businesses have IT stacks comprised of a single vendor’s offerings. Instead, most leverage a wide range of manufacturers’ products of varying ages and capabilities. Successfully integrating these various platforms requires a provider experienced in deploying private cloud technologies within complex infrastructures.
Along with expertise in multi-vendor IT environments, you also want to find a private cloud partner that can evaluate your needs and infrastructure capabilities through a vendor-agnostic lens. It’s easy to fall back on preconceptions about where your cloud strategy should be going by looking at where you are now. But that approach may not deliver the best value. An experienced technology provider will instead begin with your company’s use cases and goals for private cloud. Using that information, they can then craft a plan to leverage solutions that give you flexibility along with the capabilities you need most.
Consider Your Support Requirements
It’s important to find a vendor that prioritizes supporting your migration with minimal disruption. An experienced private cloud partner will work with you to develop a detailed migration plan to ensure everyone understands the strategy and that expectations are the same among the various stakeholder groups. This exercise also helps to uncover any additional risks, gaps, or opportunities that should be considered as part of your migration to a private cloud architecture.
The right vendor will be a trusted partner as your business moves forward, and that means offering a support plan that fits your needs. You want to find a private cloud provider whose service level agreement (SLA) aligns with your requirements. It should take into account the amount of internal resources your organization has and the capabilities you can (or want to) dedicate to ongoing maintenance and administration. In addition, consider the level of assistance you anticipate needing down the road as your company’s technology posture grows and matures. A provider able to deliver the right ongoing support services is essential in achieving the most value out of your private cloud.
A partner with a broad portfolio of private cloud offerings can match you with a cost-effective price plan most appropriate for your requirements and budget. Traditional one-size-fits-all fee structures no longer reflect the real-world needs of businesses at different stages of maturity. As you evaluate potential partners, look for one that understands how your business will consume cloud services and is proactive about pairing you with a pricing model that properly aligns with your business strategy.
For example, some enterprises are best served by pricing based on consumption, where your invoice reflects the level of resources you actually consumed during the billing period. Consumption-based pricing for private cloud can be particularly useful for companies with seasonal or other cycles that significantly impact their usage, enabling them to minimize expenses during slow periods.
Subscription pricing is another common model, where your business pays a fixed amount – often for unlimited or very high-capacity use – for each of the contracted billing periods. You’ll always know how much your invoice will be and you don’t need to worry about additional charges. However, even if your business used very few resources during the billing period you’ll still need to pay the normal recurring charge rather than a lower charge to reflect your usage.
Don’t Cut Corners
Finally, don’t cut corners when searching for the right private cloud solution provider. Giving this process the attention it deserves will pay big dividends in the form of a seamless and efficient migration, a more cost-effective cloud deployment, and valuable ongoing support services to help your business derive maximum value from your private cloud technology investment.
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