A perspective on being named to the global Top 250 Public Cloud Provider list
Cloud technology is something I’m personally passionate about, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only made me love it more. Think of all the things you’re able to do every day because of the cloud! Need dinner delivered? DoorDash and Grubhub have it handled, thanks to the cloud. Want to watch a movie? Turn on Netflix or Vudu. Run out of storage on your device but don’t want to get rid of those priceless pics of your pet/children/lawn equipment? No worries, iCloud or OneDrive have your back. But somehow, despite all the convenience and possibility the cloud affords us in our personal lives, there’s still a fear of it within many organizations. In this blog, I’ll explain why ADNET decided to become a cloud-first IT service provider.
We believe you should be in the cloud, unless you absolutely can’t be (and I’d still argue that you most likely CAN, at least in part.)
Cloud-led digital transformation
Businesses have had to accelerate adapting new technologies to survive. In an economy like the one we’re facing during a global pandemic, taking your time and implementing new systems slowly is a leisure most don’t have. Pivoting quickly to continue serving clients in this new world is the only way for organizations to survive. Businesses that have embraced these changes are thriving, while others may struggle.
So, what is “digital transformation?” Think back to the first e-commerce websites. Not long ago (or maybe I’m dating myself here…), it was commonplace to have to physically go to a store to shop. Now, I can order practically anything with the touch of a button. What does this mean for your business? A digital presence is not optional – at a minimum you need a website and social media, whether you like them or not. Clients require new ways to interact with businesses. The Cloud is transforming not just the IT industry, but the industries of all our clients. They have for some time, but now it’s a necessity as opposed to a preference. To truly succeed in this climate, your business needs to be accessible – from anywhere.
I don’t believe we should just be looking to “work from home.” To me, digital transformation means you can quite literally work from anywhere. You can rethink your entire office once you start using the cloud. There’s virtually no business – and no industry – that won’t benefit from embracing some form of cloud technology. Even if your organization requires a physical footprint, you can use cloud to enable more effective teams, store data, streamline communications, and collaborate.
Common cloud myths
For every person or business who has embraced the cloud and seen what it can help achieve, there’s a skeptical equivalent. One of the most common things I hear from IT service providers in our industry who don’t lead with cloud is that it’s not as secure. This narrow way of thinking is dangerous. The cloud is as secure as the partner providing it. Read that again. When you have a partner that is certified and experienced in offering cloud technologies, who takes compliance seriously, you have very little to fear from the cloud. Nothing is foolproof, but a properly implemented, secure cloud environment is pretty close. A properly configured Azure or AWS environment gives organizations far more control than its physical equivalent. That’s right – MORE control and MORE security!
The second biggest concern seems to be a matter of cost. I’ll be honest – to me, there’s a more significant cost to NOT being in the cloud. From a financial standpoint, having the proper tools and team to maintain, support and secure an on-premise environment is a big investment, and capital intensive. Most organizations are spending money they don’t even realize just to keep things onsite. When dealing with the cloud, aside from the initial lift and implementation, typical maintenance costs are usually subscription and consumption-based. This gives you the ability to decrease costs over time and scale the monthly spend up or down depending on your business needs.
Bottom line, the cloud IS secure (as long as you have a trusted, competent partner), and while there might be a price difference, often it’s less expensive. Moving to the cloud doesn’t have to be painful or costly – if you plan and budget correctly.
Your MSP needs to be a CSP
You might have an MSP, or CSP, or both. MSPs (Managed Service Provider) focus on maintaining and supporting your IT environment. A CSP (Cloud Service Provider) specializes in delivering and supporting cloud services. In a perfect world (and my humble opinion), your MSP would also be a CSP, AND deliver security services. Developing a comprehensive IT strategy focusing on managed IT, cloud and cybersecurity, ensures there are no gaps. I personally believe this is a winning formula, and that’s why ADNET offers it to our clients.
IT providers need to embrace things they haven’t necessarily focused on before. Like it or not, it’s not “business as usual” right now. Relying on what has worked historically isn’t the way forward. We all need to focus and continue to evolve to meet the changing requirements of businesses. Cloud technologies aren’t something you can just plug in to existing solutions in most cases, they require experience and expertise. MSPs and CSPs owe it to their clients to lead the transformation.
If you’re working with an MSP and they haven’t brought up the cloud, you should be concerned. The reason for not advising on cloud solutions may not be based on whether they’re a good fit for you – it could just be that they don’t offer them. A true IT partner advises on what’s best for your business, not what’s best for theirs. We analyze our clients’ business needs and build customized cloud solutions that advance their goals and provide access to more flexible, affordable and secure environments.
Why I’m grateful for the cloud
This year, we were honored to be named one of the Top 250 Global Public Cloud Providers. You can learn more about the distinction here, but there’s more to this than recognition and a press release. As a SMB with offices in Connecticut and New York, and clients across the country, we’ve experienced the effects of this year’s uncertainty too. I credit many things to our ability to keep doing what we love – one of which is our cloud adoption.
We’ve been using cloud technologies internally well before the pandemic hit, and I’m so thankful that we took that path. It was scary, and there was a learning curve these past few years as with any new technology, but it was worth it. Being able to send my entire team home in March, enable a work from anywhere policy, and still have the ability to fully support clients – was priceless. We’re fortunate in that we’ve been able to grow and thrive, when we know many are simply trying to survive.
Lastly, this transformation wouldn’t be possible without the greatest team in the industry – and I believe I work alongside the most talented group around. This recognition is a result of their hard work, relentless learning, and trust. I tip my hat to every one of them. Well done, team.