Leveraging cloud-based IT business support services enables firms to operate more efficiently in the modern world. Yet the majority of businesses are still not prepared to go all-in on the cloud. Reports reveal that around 72% of businesses prefer to adopt a hybrid environment.
The one-foot approach to cloud computing is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s more complex than cloud-first solutions or sticking with the traditional method of on-site servers, but if you know how to work around the technical complications, a hybrid environment can totally work for you.
IT business support services have become an iron bridge between the cloud and the guys on the ground. For IT professionals that have grown up using traditional IT systems, cloud environments are often a whole new world. And there are multiple nooks and crannies to explore and discover.
To manage a hybrid environment seamlessly, it helps to partner with IT support providers that take the time to understand your business objectives but have specialist knowledge of cloud technologies that enable you to achieve your business goals.
If you’re contemplating adopting a hybrid cloud or you’re encountering problems managing an existing hybrid environment, this article will provide you with some pointers that might help. If you want to know how our IT business support services can optimise your hybrid environment, get in touch with our cloud specialists and IT strategists.
What is Cloud Provisioning?
You will sometimes find IT business support services referred to as ‘cloud provisioning’. This is a broad-brush term that describes the range of services IT support providers typically offer, namely:
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
- Platform as a service (PaaS)
- Software as a service (SaaS)
These services can belong to either public or private cloud environments and incorporate the policies, procedures, technologies and SLAs IT support providers should offer in order to deliver value to their customers.
Whether you intend to create Microsoft Modern Workplace in all its full glory, patch a network together using a bundle of third-party apps or play it safe with a hybrid environment, the cloud provisioning we deliver at Micro Pro is designed to improve user satisfaction, promote remote collaboration, and increase productivity and profits.
There are essentially three types of business IT support services within a hybrid environment:
Advanced provisioning – companies specify the services they would like and the IT support provider delivers the resources to them.
Dynamic Provisioning – the services provided by the outsourced IT management partner is deployed on a flexible basis as and when the customer needs it. This model enables you to manage your finances better and only pay for services you need when you need them.
Self-provisioning – companies purchase cloud resources through portals established by the cloud provider and manage systems and services in-house.
The Benefits of IT Business Support Services
IT business support providers generally provide services companies don’t ordinarily have among the cohort of IT professionals. This may be because of a lack of experience with cloud computing or because you don’t have the software.
For some companies IT support services are an essential necessity. For others, it’s the quickest and most cost-effective solution that will meet your objectives in the shortest timeframe.
For example, at Micro Pro, we provide services that include patch management, automation, virtual desktops, orchestration, cybersecurity, cloud configuration and much more. Whilst all of these services can be learned by your in-house IT team, it will take a long time to cover everything you need to know.
The smart option, therefore, is to lean on IT support professionals that already have specialist knowledge.
So how can Micro Pro benefit your business?
In a fast-paced world, modern businesses need agility. Because new technologies influence customer behaviour, companies need to the agility to change direction quickly.
This has been evident over the past decade. Look at how many established high street firms failed because they didn’t have the agility to move their business online or offer services that could be accessed digitally.
Cloud-based services give you more flexibility to move with the ebbs and tides of the market and the direction in which consumers want you to go. Digital-first options are a must-have in a digitally-driven world.
Reduce Security Threats
The cybersecurity onslaught promulgated by mainstream media can cause restlessness in the C-suite. Whilst hackers do present a real threat, the risk can be significantly reduced if you understand where cybersecurity threats are and how to deal with them.
Because cybersecurity is an obligation (thanks to GDPR), it would be foolish for SMEs to ignore taking precautions. The good news is that cybersecurity solutions don’t have to be expensive – which you can read about in this article.
Cloud solutions have the capacity to facilitate growth. But you can just as easily downscale as and when the economy tanks. The cloud is as flexible and versatile as the economy – although thankfully, more predictable and reliable.
Adding services and users is a simple process that can be performed in a matter of minutes. All you need to know once the software is downloaded is how to configure it. Which is where cloud specialists earn their corn.
Reduced Costs, Increase Profits
When implanted correctly in alignment with your business objectives, IT support services should help to reduce your IT costs – particularly in relation to the maintenance and management of IT systems.
IT support providers also use remote monitoring tools that can identify where potential problems could cause downtime. This enables us to fix the issue before it becomes an issue. We aim for a 99.999% uptime – which is advantageous for productivity and profitability.
How To Optimise A Hybrid Cloud Environment
IT strategy plays a key role in the overall functioning and performance of your business network. IT systems should be flexible and dynamic. To maximise your potential and achieve your desired results in a hybrid environment we recommend focusing on the following:
Create End-to-End Orchestration
The complexities involved in a hybrid environment can delay projects and slow down operational output. One of the most common challenges is transferring data between the cloud and on-site servers.
Complications arise in a hybrid solution because the cloud architecture involves a combination of cloud and private cloud servers. The latter does not consider who is accessing your data, how or why.
Cloud servers, on the other hand, enable you to set permissions that limit the access of certain individuals. This means that some employees only have access to files they are allowed to see. Permission is also a critical layer that helps to strengthen your cybersecurity measures.
To manage your entire IT network efficiently, you will need to create and implement an IT governance policy that includes whatever cloud software you have incorporated. You will then need to establish which employees have access to apps, folders, files and servers.
We recommend utilising the cloud power of low-code API standardised systems that enable you to easily connect and seamlessly integrate API endpoints. The leading providers are Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, AWS, or other SaaS/PaaS cloud management platforms.
Say what you like about artificial intelligence, but it is here to stay and can help businesses to optimise IT systems whilst reducing costs.
Automation is an approachable solution to optimising the management and functionality of a hybrid cloud environment. It’s one of the reasons why machine learning is billed as one of the hottest software on the block right now – despite its many failings in other areas.
The crux of the matter is that automation takes a lot of manual legwork out of managing IT systems. It enables your IT teams to identify things they wouldn’t already be aware of until it happens and because AI understands IT, machines can your business pretty quickly.
In short, automation enables you to cut costs by cutting out tedious manual labour that is time-consuming – unless it’s performed by a robot. This frees your staff up to focus on more important work and effectively ramps up productivity.
Automation can play a role in hybrid environments but not all cloud-based automation tools will help you to save costs. We recommend running a proof of concept before integrating automated tools into your hybrid cloud strategy. Most cloud software is available on a trial to take advantage of the play-before-you-pay option.
For example, let’s say you want a solution that enables you to transfer workloads from an on-premise data centre to a cloud solution that can be accessed by remote workers.
If your objective is to create a seamless transition of data whilst minimising costs, you want to know which cloud service best suits the needs of your business in terms of cost and usability.
Strengthen Data Privacy Compliance
Protecting the sensitive data of your customers, employees and business partners is a priority – and the principal reason why the majority of businesses choose to implement a hybrid environment in the first place.
Whilst it makes perfect sense to store sensitive data on a secure data centre in your offices, it also makes perfect sense to adopt a cloud environment that enables your employees to access relevant data from remote locations.
In a hybrid environment, you have more control over data management. You can set parameters as to which data is shared where and who can access it. For example, you can establish a connection between on-site servers and a virtual machine, but restrict the amount of data that is accessible to the end user.
How you specifically implement cybersecurity measures will look different for every company. It really depends on the nature of your business, the level of sensitive data you collect and how your staff access and processes the data.
But every company is obligated to follow the same rules under the various data protection laws such as GDPR. The three rules to follow are:
Confidentiality – how you store, process and secure data. Cloud solutions include restricting access by setting permissions.
Integrity – data protection laws restrict data from being altered or deleted by unauthorised individuals. Cloud solutions allow you to police data by notifying affected parties and authorised personnel when their data has been changed.
Availability – Under the provision of GDPR, consumers are entitled to access their data when they need it so it has to be available on tap. The exception to the rule is if the data has been on file for longer than your industry is legally obligated to hold third-party records to if the individual has submitted a ‘right to be forgotten’ request.
Hybrid cloud solutions seek to simplify compliance by using in-built tools that enable companies to manage workloads and transfer data seamlessly across omnichannel platforms.
IT Business Support Services for Hybrid Environments
IT teams can easily feel overwhelmed converting to a hybrid environment. Unless you have IT professionals with experience in both cloud computing and traditional data centre storage, finding solutions to overcome challenges can be time-consuming, stressful and frustrating.
If you need help implementing and managing a secure hybrid environment that optimises the functionality of your business network, speak with our specialist IT support providers in London.
Our team of talented IT professionals have experience in optimising IT architecture that delivers maximum uptime and facilities for remote working whilst ensuring cybersecurity compliance is adhered to.
Furthermore, our senior management team excels at IT strategy and can help you to build a proficient business network using a combination of cloud software that captures data which can be transferred and stored to on-premise data servers.
Because advancements in technology move at such a fast pace in today’s world, the most cost-effective solution is to acquire knowledge from people with existing knowledge – such as individuals that work in IT business support services. Whilst we support continuous learning for IT professionals, sometimes there is too much to learn and not enough time to study.