A recent Codify client survey highlighted the most common reason clients contacted us was due to a bad relationship with their existing IT provider.
These days everyone is an expert when it comes to Cloud technology. IT service providers are competing to keep up with the times and ensure their cloud migration and maintenance service offering is relevant. In such a competitive market, it can be hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. Make the wrong decision and a migration project can become a painful and expensive project.
So how can you tell if you have made the right choice and picked the right partner?
Keep an eye on the cost
One of the most common causes for a bad relationship is money. Providers who take the time to understand a client and their business needs, as well as review their existing assets, should be able to provide clear costs for projects and ongoing work.
With cloud migrations, many businesses report budgets blowing out or bill shock which should have been addressed at the start of the project.
If you are concerned about the cost of a project, tackle this head on and ask for a clear explanation as to why there is an increase. An informed and reliable provider should be able to foresee increasing costs, flag them, and where possible suggest alternative and cost-effective options.
Consider what options your provider is putting forward and how they work for your business. Cloud migrations can be done in stages and it is common for a business to opt for a hybrid solution as their first foray into Cloud.
For example, if you are happy with your on-premises servers (perhaps they have been recently updated) but are looking to improve your Data Recovery plan then this could be the first part of a cloud migration. Don’t allow providers to coerce you into migrating systems you are not ready to move.
Or perhaps you are looking to increase your server capacity. On-premises options are expensive and often have to be increased in substantial increments. A hybrid option would be a great consideration in this instance as Cloud storage can be added, as needed, to complement an existing on-premises server. This option allows people to start their Cloud migration at any time rather than having to wait for the end of an existing server’s lifecycle. Unlike on-premises servers, the Cloud is an evergreen option.
If the options being presented to you for a migration are rigid and not flexible, e.g. “it’s all or nothing”, then it might be worth seeking a second opinion.
A good service provider will know that a Cloud migration doesn’t end with a Lift-and-Shift. If you have transitioned to Cloud with a hybrid solution you should now be looking at how to modernise your workloads and capitalise on the capabilities of the Cloud, such as Platform as a Service functions like serverless web and database solutions, now available to you.
If you are not, and in fact you are finding that very little has changed, then this might be a sign of a substandard partner.
On the other hand, an IT partner who drives modernisation and provides ongoing guidance, governance and support enabling you to run your business efficiently in the Cloud is worth holding on to.
Your IT provider should be identifying future initiatives for modernising your infrastructure and enhancing your Cloud experience not leaving you high and dry at the start of your digital transformation.
It’s hard to have a good relationship with someone that never responds to your emails. If you find you are chasing your IT provider to complete actions or resolve issues, it may be time to go to market.
Several large-scale Managed Service Providers (MSPs) still operate on an outdated ticket system and have complicated prioritisation systems. Staff at these companies often work on a clock in / clock out and bill-by-the-minute system which can result in a lack of job engagement. These staff don’t tend to have positive client relationships as they are unmotivated and disgruntled.
This is probably one of the most important things to help build a strong, productive and long-lasting relationship with your supplier. What is their core business? With Cloud technology a hot topic, there are many generalist IT companies trying to catch up and cash in on migration projects. In some instances, these companies may do an excellent job but sometimes it may be that they have spread themselves too thin.
If you are looking to move your business to the Cloud, whether as an immediate project or in stages, talk to people that do only that. Cloud specialists have a breadth of understanding that means you are likely to be presented with more options and better outcomes.
Cloud specialists will also offer a stronger focus on the apps available and how they can best be used to improve your business.
Time for a divorce?
At Codify, we understand the importance of a good working relationship. We work differently, with a focus on fit for purpose, and have a much broader and more mature relationship with our clients.
We also invest in finding the right Cloud solution and don’t believe in a ‘one size fits all’ philosophy. We want to understand your business, from the short term to long term goals and any past or present pain points.
If you are stuck in a bad relationship with your IT provider, consider Codify’s CloudLift solution. CloudLift is our evidence-based solution to support migrations to Microsoft Azure. It creates a defined plan for your cloud migration – outlining the cost and timeline up front, so you know what you’re in for. We’d love to understand your situation and see if we can help. It might just be the start of an exciting new IT relationship.