94% of IT decision-makers told an IDG survey they struggle to fully leverage their cloud resources. Lacking internal cloud consulting specialists, IT departments aren’t getting what they pay for in the cloud and are grappling with these top 4 concerns:
- Controlling costs
- Data privacy and security
- Protecting resources in the cloud
- Maintaining compliance
Get More Value out of Your Cloud Investment
Cloud adoption isn’t slowing down. In the IDG survey, 81% of leaders said they had at least one application in the cloud in 2020. It was 73% in 2018. All signs indicate that resources will continue to shift off-premise and more of your IT budget should be allocated to the cloud.
Cloud consulting services enable you to:
- Achieve business goals faster with IT aligned to your strategy
- Fully utilize the cloud features you pay for
- Effortlessly maintain compliance
- Protect your business against existing and emerging cyberthreats
- Understand how to leverage Azure services and leading cloud solutions
Not all cloud IT consulting partnerships are worthwhile
The damage done by a bad IT partnership is deep. Inexperienced recommendations lead to overspending in the cloud. Before working with us, MyEyeDr. spent millions on IT support. The return wasn’t great. IT providers regularly made promises they couldn’t keep. Our partnership was different. MyEyeDr. turned to Nortec to create a secure cloud environment for their widely distributed national offices. Within the same project, we discovered a complex issue negatively impacting employees’ daily workflow. We resolved the problem and restored MyEyeDr.’s faith in external IT.
“I don’t know how to be more positive. Initially we were timid, given our experiences with other IT providers. But Nortec has been there for us, and I am confident they will grow with us.”
–Shane Fisher, Senior Manager of IT Technical Services
7 Questions to Ask When Selecting Cloud Consulting Services
Work with someone who helps you solve company problems – not create new ones. Before contracting with a cloud IT consulting services partner, ask these 7 questions.
1. Will the IT cloud consulting firm’s work match the high standards you provide for your company?
Recognize that you’re not simply choosing a supplier when you’re looking for a cloud consultant. You want to work with a business partner who you can trust long term and who will help you meet your own objectives, not show up with an agenda.
Consider how they position themselves in the marketing material and how they conduct themselves throughout the sales process. Are they transactional or pushing solutions that don’t align with your business goals? Or, are they detail-oriented, timely and professional? How they conduct themselves in these early phases will start to give you a picture of how well they’ll work for you.
2. Do your goals align?
You’re looking for a partner who has your business interests in mind. If you feel like they’re just going through the motions and ticking off boxes, they won’t be a cloud consultant who will let you take your mind off technology. Instead, they’re focused more on their bottom line than yours.
Any outsourced IT provider should:
- Reach goals you establish
- Enhance your capabilities
- Decrease your daily IT burdens
- Work within the project parameters you set
- Meet deadlines
They should not:
- Try to replace your internal team
- Poach your top employees
- Disregard your objectives
The right cloud consultant strengthens your teams’ capabilities. By augmenting your capabilities, they help you complete projects faster. If they manage a project for you, your internal IT department can focus on other initiatives, again keeping you on track to reach goals.
700 employees, 0 issues working from home
70% of global medical research firm Pharmerit’s employees couldn’t effectively work from home when they were needed most. They couldn’t carry out work to validate the COVID-19 vaccine and going to the office wasn’t an option. Pharmerit needed reliable, secure cloud solutions quickly. Working with Nortec’s expert cloud consultants, they opted to leverage the Managed Modern Workplace. Pairing Office 365 with managed IT services, Pharmerit’s employees were able to work together in real time using collaboration tools like Teams, and their IT department confidently off-loaded IT support to Nortec.
3. What’s their security posture?
If your partner is breached, it’ll end up your responsibility to explain what happened to leadership. Why did the cloud consulting experts you hired lack adequate cybersecurity? Conduct a thorough cybersecurity interview to avoid unpleasant surprises.
Ask questions like:
- How do you secure your systems?
- Do you use the cybersecurity tools you implement for clients on yourself?
- What steps will you take to protect my company before, during and after the migration?
4. Can they back up promises with proof?
Match the promises your cloud consultant makes with information on their website and validate it. If they’re a trusted Microsoft partner, they’ll be able to back that up with more than a logo. Look for positive client experiences and services, like Azure support, that show they continually work with and in the systems you want to leverage. After doing preliminary research online, talk to them. Measure how well they understand your requirements and their experience working in similar situations to yours.
Proof you can trust:
- Microsoft Gold Competencies
- Documented certifications on staff
- Client cloud migration testimonials
- Demonstrated knowledge of your specific requirements
5. Will they help me reach my cloud goals?
A partner who respects your goals listens. They take what you tell them and present options. Someone who is beholden to a specific vendor blindly pushes specific solutions. They discuss services without regard for your goals, budget or needs.
Review how your potential consultant acts in meetings. Evaluate the plan they present. Look for steps that lead you closer to your objectives.
Strategic conversations should revolve around:
- What you want to achieve in the cloud
- Pros and cons for each vendor available to you
- Impact of the recommended change on your daily operations
6. Do they follow an established cloud consulting process?
Documented processes aren’t the same as generic migration plans. Experts providing cloud consulting services will have set actions they go through with every client to maintain high levels of service.
At Nortec, we always start with a whiteboarding session. Stakeholders get an overviewof each phase of the plan. Throughout, they ask us questions. Then we execute the plan, following best practices. If the internal IT team has a hands-on role, we’re working in tandem with them. Stakeholders remain informed.
Good cloud consultants keep projects from going off the rails
The complex parent-child domain issue at MyEyeDr. didn’t slow our progress. A custom script fixed the problem in 2 months. At the same time, we migrated Active Directory to Azure. It increased security and simplified the company’s IT environment.
7. Is end-to-end management part of their cloud consulting services?
Your cloud services provider should be able to provide a fully managed transition to the cloud. This includes planning, testing, implementing, backups and training for your team. This is how we migrated Schneider Downs. We provided regular updates to their IT department – without adding to their to-do list.
Protect Your Cloud Investment
If you’re like the 94% of IT decision makers struggling to leverage the cloud effectively, work with someone who has your best interests in mind. Get more money out of the cloud. Set up a 15-minute cloud consultation with Nortec today.