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Managed Cloud Services | Vendor Lock-In & Switching Factors

2021-09-27
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vendor lock in and switching factors in managed cloud services Aricle

Do you often feel yourself in the maze, where there is no way to come out? You might have invested a lot in IT infrastructure and cloud computing, invested thousands of hours for human resources, but the end result is something where you are stuck and you don’t find your way out. At that time you need someone who can guide you, give you direction and make sure to make you comfortable and finds your way out. That’s why you need a reliable partner for managed cloud services. Before beginning, let’s try to understand what is managed cloud services.


Running an infrastructure is a complex and time consuming process with many moving pieces. Different technologies need to work together seamlessly for users to have a good and stable network experience. Adding the element of cloud, even with the simplicity of cloud-as-a-service, or managed cloud service, adds an extra layer of complexity. It’s important to remember that choosing a cloud provider and going digital won’t be the last time you must revisit your cloud configuration.


The global cloud computing market is $250 billion in 2021, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.9%! Technologies change, update and morph as dictated by the market, and require constant upgrades and maintenance. You must consider the possibility that you will want to change your cloud configuration in the future, maybe to allow for more storage, or for better back-up technology – who knows?!  So how much time, effort, man-power and cost is it going to take to either switch to new technology, or completely replace it in the future. What if you find you can’t replace it, and are instead “locked-in” with a vendor who doesn’t provide what you need? These are serious issues to consider on your managed cloud service journey.


What is Cloud-as-a-Service?

Cloud-as-a-service takes the infrastructure, software and platforms you use daily, and allows a third-party provider to host and manage them. It is essentially on-demand cloud and internet for enterprise. You can choose different cloud services, including IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. People choose to use managed cloud services for several reasons, including:


  • Easy scalability
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • High-availability
  • Better performance
  • More robust security 

Managed cloud service is the process of storing your organizations data with a third-party cloud storage provider. These services are popular for their simplicity. Businesses like relying on cloud experts for their highly-technical IT needs, and these professional services take the pressure off. The issue comes when businesses rely too heavily on their provider, and the provider simply isn’t providing anymore.


The Downside of “Cloud Service Vendor Lock-In”

“Vendor Lock-in” is the inability to leave a cloud or managed cloud provider without significant effort and cost to the company. There are many reasons you might find yourself seeking a new vendor.


  1. Your cloud vendor might become unreliable or reducing access to services
  2. Your cloud vendor might increase prices unexpectedly
  3. Your cloud vendors functionality might be lacking or causing issues
  4. Support from the vendor might be lacking or non-existent after sales
  5. Your needs might surpass the vendors capacity to provide
  6. Your providers software or hardware has proven itself insecure or susceptible to cyber-attack
  7. You have compliance concerns or issues not being addressed by the cloud provider

Switching cloud-as-a-service providers is an incredibly complex process, as your network infrastructure will need to be rebuilt and restructured, while security policies and other complex connections will need to be entirely reset to your specifications. Then consider the tens of terabytes of data you likely have stored or backed-up. It will take months to move that data to a different cloud provider. There are also some examples of businesses like NetSuite and SalesForce, who use proprietary systems, returning data to departing customers in a simple spreadsheet format, making it impossible to take to a new vendor. It’s something most companies choose only as a last resort.


The most prudent course of action is to do it right the first time, and factor in any associated future costs as an eventuality. How do you know if cloud-as-a-service or managed cloud service is for you? And how do you know which vendor will best suit your needs?


Choosing a reliable cloud provider

Amazon Web Services went down on November 26th, the day after the American Thanksgiving holiday. As the world’s largest cloud service provider, this outage affected access to things like Adobe, Autodesk, Fidelity, the New York Metropolitan Transport Authority and the Washington Post, just to name a few. A Google Cloud Platform several weeks later led to Gmail and Google cloud applications being unavailable. If this can happen to the most powerful cloud provider, shouldn’t you carefully consider your choice? Start by considering these elements of your chosen cloud providers: 


  1. What is the overall financial health of the potential provider?
  2. How long have they been in business?
  3. What regions do they focus on, or do they have a global presence?
  4. How many customers do they have?
  5. Do they have online reviews or product rankings?
  6. Do they have any past issues with data security? 

What scenario would be best for a cloud-as-a-service model? 

Enterprises with a need to install, manage and upgrade applications and software often choose to use managed cloud service, as it frees up IT staff for more important and productive tasks like security. Managed cloud security is another huge selling point, with the cyber-threat landscape as ominous as it is. Start-ups and small business use it to get started quickly and easily with little up-front investment, while some businesses need it for short-term projects that need the best connections. 


Managed cloud services are also great for streamlining workflows, with greater speed and flexibility for all users, all at a lower cost. Finally, larger companies often choose this path, as it allows them greater control over their applications and infrastructure, and puts them in a position to only purchase what they need, without over extending. Companies experiencing rapid growth also use this model to scale out quickly and easily, without the need to buy hardware or invest in more space.


Sangfor Managed Cloud Services:

Sangfor can provide Managed Cloud Services such as:

  • Deliver Infrastructure as a Service
  • Disaster Recovery or Backup as a Service
  • Managed Private Cloud & Container
  • Online & On-Site Professional Service
  • Managed Critical Application & Data

For more information on the benefits of managed cloud service or security, visit Sangfor Technologies