Two isn’t a crowd when it comes to cloud consulting services. Your cloud provider shouldn’t leave you isolated on your cloud, left to wonder:
- Am I overpaying my cloud consulting partner?
- Why don’t I ever hear from my cloud provider?
- Do I have the right licensing?
- Why does it take so long to fix issues?
- Are my systems safe from cybersecurity risks?
- Is the cloud making work easier for my team?
- Did we migrate for nothing?
Read: 5 Signs Your Cloud Consultant Is Bringing the Value to the Table
Unfortunately, most business owners are left to grapple with these questions alone. It’s like their consultant views the cloud the same way the Rolling Stones did in Get Off Of My Cloud: Don’t hang around ’cause two’s a crowd.
We disagree. You shouldn’t be alone on the cloud. Of course, this adds another question to your list: How do I pick the right cloud consultant? It’s a complex question, and this article guides you through everything to consider as you search for a true cloud consulting business partner.
The Top 3 Questions Business Owners Have About Cloud Consulting Services
1. What are cloud consulting services?
IT cloud consulting services add business-focused IT experts to your team. After delivering your cloud solution, they work with you to:
- Align your IT plan and overall business strategy
- Protect your company against emerging cyberthreats
- Ensure systems remain compliant
2. Why do businesses need cloud consultants?
Organizations typically only take advantage of 40% of what’s possible in the cloud. Cloud consultants bridge the gap between having cloud solutions and using cloud solutions.
3. How will I know I have the right IT cloud consulting partner?
They’re an asset to your organization, and you view the relationship as a positive ROI.
5 Signs Your Cloud Consultant Is Bringing the Value to the Table
If you’re not able to reach your cloud provider, that’s just one sign that all is not well. Truthfully, they should be consistently helping you get the most out of your cloud services.
1. Technology becomes part of your business plan
Your consultant should fill a strategic role. (Read how we did this with our client SIA.) We conduct quarterly strategic meetings with clients. In these meetings, we discuss how their current technologies are serving the organization. Then we share which technologies are best suited for their goals. We dive into budget impacts and how the tool or system fits into the long-term plan. For SIA, we addressed immediate needs through Microsoft 365 and integrated lower-priority tools over a 2-year period.
2. You’re confident about your cybersecurity
Microsoft will always outspend your organization on data protection and cybersecurity measures. But the full force of the protections aren’t automatic. When you have the right cloud expert, they’ll make sure you:
- Utilize all advanced security measures, like mobile device management and multifactor authentication
- Know your secure score and what it means for your organization
- Continually optimize your environment based on reports and emerging threats
- Audit accounts for suspicious activity
3. Solutions address immediate and long-term needs
The solution you need today may be unworkable in a year. Your consultant will only know that if they take the time to get to know your business. We start every partnership with a consultation. Our clients explain where they are now and what they want to achieve. Based on those goals, we design a solution. This leads to better IT for our clients, because they get IT that empowers their team to achieve goals and responsive support when they need it.
4. You don’t need to be constantly calling IT support (but when you do, things are fixed)
How often have you called your help desk and no one answers? No matter what time of day it is, you can’t get ahold of support. We pick up the phone. Our clients know they’ll reach their dedicated account manager or the IT support team whenever they need us. Either way, they talk to a member of our staff who knows their organization and quickly resolves their issue.
5. Your cloud consulting partner looks for ways to save you money
Unchecked cloud costs run roughshod over business budgets. If your consultant is also an expert in Microsoft Azure, they’ll know how to carefully monitor usage and spend, keeping costs from spiraling out of control. One of the most common problems we solve for new clients is licensing. They come to us with the wrong license and are either overspending or at risk of being fined by Microsoft. We correct the issue, often bringing down the cost they pay per user.
Microsoft Gold Partners Apply Specialized Cloud Knowledge to Your Business
To get the most value from your cloud partnership, you want all the above attributes from a Microsoft solutions expert who has multiple gold and silver competencies. To earn competencies, providers prove their knowledge about the solutions and systems they use through:
- Client testimonials
This deep familiarity translates to real benefits. Because of our strong track record as a Microsoft partner, our clients have relied on us to:
- Help them save money, avoid fines from Microsoft and get the right licensing
- Demystify Azure support pricing and accurately estimate cloud costs
- Resolve intricate, highly technical issues that are frustrating employees
The Cloud Isn’t Only About ‘Working Anywhere at Any Time’
The cloud is about more than checking your email from your phone when you wake up at 6 a.m. It’s about:
Using more technology and thinking about IT less
Your workday revolves around your computer, phone and business applications. But you shouldn’t have to think about them. Fully managed cloud solutions make your experience with technology frictionless.
Here’s a taste of what Managed Cloud Services can do for your business
- Managed Cloud Portal – Your Microsoft cloud + our expert management = you finally leveraging the full force of the cloud you paid for.
- Managed Modern Workplace – Your Microsoft cloud + our expert management + the Nortec help desk + our strategic business guidance = fully managed IT without the hassle.
- Managed Microsoft Teams – Your Microsoft cloud + Microsoft Teams + our Microsoft competencies + the Nortec help desk = collaboration that keeps you connected.
- Managed Backup and Data Recovery – Your Microsoft cloud + our managed backup = peace of mind that your information is always safe.
- Data Center – Your Microsoft cloud + our cloud-based storage + Nortec monitoring, reporting & security = a reliable way to manage your data.
Bring your team together
Microsoft Teams offers reliable, consistent experiences, so you can confidently schedule and hold meetings. It’s how Pharmerit coordinated efforts across 5 countries to validate COVID-19 vaccines during the critical trial stages.
Seamlessly share what matters
To your employees, SharePoint and OneDrive are apps to ignore. They won’t use either until you show them how they cut down on emails and make it easier to share documents. This is how Schneider Downs increased adoption of both apps, using the communication plan we provided. The document gave the company talking points and answers to use in town hall meetings with their staff.
Protect your reputation
Even mediocre hackers destroy reputations. A stray click on any of 100 spam emails J Street Group received on a daily basis would have decimated trust between the event-planning firm and its A-list clients. We moved their email platform to the cloud, turned on Microsoft Advanced Threat Protection and installed a firewall. Phishing attempts immediately decreased to near zero.
Stop Overpaying for an Underwhelming Cloud Experience
Kicking people off his cloud netted Mick Jagger a lot of money. When you’re left alone on your cloud, you continually lose money. You have finite resources. Stop wasting them on cloud consultants who don’t call you back. You deserve a positive ROI from your cloud services.