Taking your first step into the cloud

As more and more businesses explore cloud-based solutions to upgrade their IT infrastructure, it’s all too easy to get confused by the different options available, says Terry Storrar, our Director of Managed Services.

If your business is selling shoes, your skill is in selling shoes, not in setting up an IT infrastructure. So, when it comes to navigating your way through the maze of public, private and hybrid cloud choices for your business, you need to seek the advice of a tried and trusted IT service provider who can offer support and guidance.

Here are three questions to ask to help you choose an IT service provider you can trust:

  1. What is the best option for a business like mine?

You will probably want a website, email and access to MS Office, and you may also want a form of ERP/CRM.  With so many varieties of this setup, you need to look for a partner who, first and foremost, listens to your needs and can advise by showing what other businesses of your size and type are doing – nobody wants to be a guinea pig.

  1. How can I future-proof my IT set up?

You may have started up on a laptop using Office 365, but in a years’ time if you’ve grown to 20 people and gained private equity backing, you are going to need to focus on your business and not how the IT works. It’s important that your IT service provider listens to what your business needs are from its IT, and can advise you on a scalable solution as your business grows.

  1. Are there any accreditations that I should look out for when choosing an IT service provider?

A best practise service provider will be accredited in ISO9001 and 27001. They should also be able to demonstrate a great track record in delivery to your size of business and have a bank of good customer case studies and testimonials.

I would argue that any IT infrastructure should be monitored and managed via a managed service provider who you trust.  The trust element is even more critical if you are outsourcing your IT for the first time and there are many choices out there with different service providers having different specialisations.  For example, we at MCSA have a heritage in critical IT support and a long history of helping transition companies to a future-proofed, off site infrastructure – we manage the IT systems that underpin their company, to allow them to focus on running and improving their business.