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5 Reasons SMBs Thrive When Leveraging Managed Cloud Services

By Sarah Jones | Posted on December 18, 2023 | Posted in Cloud, migration

Navigating today's business environment poses unique challenges for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), primarily due to their often limited IT resources. Many SMBs either need a dedicated IT department or have a minimal one, leading to potential operational hiccups.

This limitation is where the transformative power of managed cloud services comes into play. These services can be a game-changer for businesses with limited in-house IT capabilities. Managed cloud services allow SMBs to address complex IT challenges without investing in a full-time team.  With the help of a managed cloud services partner, you can have peace of mind knowing you have access to a dedicated, round-the-clock team that can ensure minimal operational disruptions due to IT challenges.  

Beyond troubleshooting IT issues, cloud-managed services take on multi-cloud operations and empower businesses to focus on what they do best.  As an SMB owner or decision-maker, understanding the benefits cloud-managed services can offer is crucial. This post explores the benefits of partnering with these services to grow your business. 

What are Managed Cloud Services? 

Managed cloud services (SMBs) refer to a dedicated team of technologists who oversee a client's cloud infrastructure. It's not merely about fixing already-reported issues; it's ensuring that the cloud environment runs seamlessly. These services span from initial migration and configuration to continuous optimization, security, and routine maintenance. 

Related Read: Datacenter Networking 101: 7 Requirements For Your Platform

Whether you're contemplating a cloud transition or already knee-deep in your implementation process, managed cloud services can guide the needed resources and help ensure you set your systems up correctly. These services cater to various cloud types, including public, private, and hybrid clouds.

The hard truth is many organizations jump onto the cloud bandwagon expecting transformative outcomes. However, they often need effective management to handle unexpected challenges and complexities and achieve their desired ROI. 

This is where SMBs need managed cloud services. These services fill the expertise void, covering technical aspects from system administration to cybersecurity. They monitor your network, handle applications, ensure data backup, and even offer IT support. Plus, they can negotiate with cloud vendors, ensuring you get optimal value.

A survey conducted by Flexera (State of the Cloud Report 2020) found that 93% of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy, while 87% have a hybrid cloud strategy. This complex multi-cloud environment makes managed cloud services even more crucial, as businesses need expertise to navigate, integrate, and manage these diverse environments.

1. A Sustained Focus on SMB Growth

Though every business is unique, the prime objective for every SMB is the same: growth.  Every decision, strategy, and action is geared towards expansion, whether capturing new markets, launching innovative products, or fostering customer relationships. However, as businesses scale, so do their technological needs. Balancing the intricacies of IT infrastructure while steering the ship of growth can be daunting.

For many businesses, IT and enterprise infrastructure can be more of a hindrance than a help, especially when expanding or launching new services. Technical hiccups like server downtimes, security vulnerabilities, and data storage challenges can divert valuable resources and distract your attention from your core business objectives.

Avoid these challenges by partnering with a managed cloud services provider. Instead of being bogged down by the nuances of IT, SMBs can offload their infrastructure worries to experts who eat, sleep, and breathe technology. 

According to a study by CompTIA, 64% of companies use third-party IT services to some degree, indicating trust in external expertise to drive internal efficiency. Some benefits you can enjoy when you partner with these service providers include:

  • 24/7 Support & Monitoring: With a dedicated team constantly monitoring your cloud infrastructure, any potential issues are flagged and resolved before they escalate. This means no more midnight crisis calls or weekend troubleshooting marathons. Your business stays up and running, always.
  • Future-Proofing Your Business: Managed Cloud Services aren't just about maintaining the status quo. They're about innovation. Cloud providers are always on the cutting edge of technology, ensuring that you have access to the latest tools, software, and platforms for workplace modernization
  • Cost Efficiency: You may consider the services offered and expect a hefty price tag. However, leveraging Managed Cloud Services can be a cost-effective strategy for small businesses. When you rely on managed cloud services, you can minimize unexpected costs and free up funds to reinvest in growth initiatives.
  • Scalability on Demand: As your business grows, so will your IT needs. Instead of investing in new hardware or software licenses every time there's an uptick in demand, cloud services allow for instant scalability. This flexibility ensures that you're always equipped to handle increased workloads, whether it's a seasonal spike in sales or a sustained period of growth.

Read our comprehensive guide on how to achieve maximum agility with a multi-cloud strategy.

2. Better Business Security

Cyber threats, data breaches, and malicious attacks have become increasingly sophisticated. In today’s environment, security and governance isn't just about safeguarding data; it's about ensuring business continuity, reputation management, and trust-building.

So, how can Managed Cloud Services elevate your security game?

  • End-to-end Encryption: Enusring data security isn't just about guarding it when it's stored but also while it's in transit. Managed Cloud Services utilize advanced encryption protocols, ensuring your data remains uncompromised, whether at rest or on the move. According to Gartner, through 2025, at least 99% of cloud security failures will be the customer's fault. By leveraging managed services, you mitigate these risks significantly.
  • State-of-the-Art Infrastructure: Cloud providers invest heavily in cutting-edge infrastructure for performance and security. With multi-layered security protocols, advanced firewalls, and intrusion detection systems, they're equipped to fend off threats that might be challenging for individual businesses to tackle.
  • Dedicated Security Teams: Let's face it — even large tech companies can sometimes struggle to retain top-tier cybersecurity talent. Managed Cloud Service providers, on the other hand, have dedicated teams that specialize in monitoring, threat detection, and rapid response. A study found that the average time to identify a breach in 2019 was 206 days. With a dedicated team, you can cut this time frame significantly, allowing for faster response.
  • Proactive Threat Detection: Gone are the days when security was reactive. Today, with AI and machine learning technologies, Managed Cloud Services can actively predict and ward off potential threats before they manifest. This proactive stance means you're always ahead of anyone looking to access your data with bad intentions.
  • Regular Updates & Patches: Staying updated is crucial in cybersecurity. Managed Cloud Service providers ensure that all systems, applications, and platforms are regularly patched and updated, closing any potential security loopholes.
  • Data Redundancy & Backup: Beyond external threats, data loss can occur due to a myriad of reasons, from hardware failure to human error or natural disasters. Cloud providers ensure data redundancy across multiple geographical locations. This ensures data availability and facilitates rapid data recovery in case of disaster.

3. Reduced Costs

One of the prime motivators for CTOs of large tech companies is the potential for significant cost savings when considering a transition to cloud solutions. However, understanding the nuances of these savings is crucial. Let's delve into the cost benefits based on the deployment method: on-premises vs. public cloud.

Related Read: Cloud vs. On-Premises: 5 Key Considerations for Tech-Driven Enterprises

On-Premises (In-House) Deployment

When you opt for an on-premises (in-house) deployment, the primary expenditure you'll encounter is a one-time significant investment in datacenter infrastructure. After this initial setup, the advantage is clear: you've set the stage.

The charm of this in-house cloud solution is control of your infrastructure and data. Once established, you will frequently manage hardware upgrades and administrative tasks tied to regular hardware cycles. 

As your company charts its growth trajectory, the number of employees needing access to datacenter resources will naturally increase. The in-house solution shines here, letting you extend access to a broader employee base without incurring extra costs.

Cloud Service Provider Deployment

On the flip side, if you gravitate toward a Cloud Service Provider (CSP), you can sidestep many of the responsibilities and costs of hardware maintenance. With a CSP, the responsibility to maintain and upgrade hardware shifts from your shoulders onto theirs. 

Partnering with a CSP ensures you're always operating with top-tier, updated equipment without the headaches of management. Furthermore, this setup means you have little pressure to upgrade your existing systems or computers. Instead, you get to ride the coattails of the CSP's state-of-the-art resources, guaranteeing your operations stay ahead of the curve without in-house hardware overhauls. 

As your organization's needs shift and more users require cloud access, the CSP model allows for more flexibility. Adding more users to the network is typically hassle-free, often requiring an incremental fee. This setup ensures your company's growth is not disproportionate to IT costs.

4. Greater Scalability

Scaling businesses need to be adaptable. As a business leader, you're likely familiar with the challenges of scaling infrastructure to meet increasing demands. The good news? Cloud computing offers a solution that's both efficient and economical.

Unmatched Performance Boosts

With cloud computing, you're not just getting a compute and data solution; you're unlocking a performance powerhouse. No longer are you bound by the limitations of traditional hardware setups. Instead, you have a dynamic environment that adjusts resources in real time, ensuring your applications run seamlessly even during peak demand.

Effortless Scalability

One of the standout features of cloud computing is its scalability. As your business grows, so does your need for computing resources. In traditional setups, this would mean significant investments in hardware and potential downtime during upgrades. With cloud computing, scaling up is as simple as adjusting your service plan. This means you can accommodate growth spurts without disruptions or hefty upfront costs.

Always-On Accessibility

In today's interconnected world, businesses operate around the clock. Whether it's a critical sales call or a late-night customer support query, you always need access to your data. Cloud computing ensures that your data is available 24/7 and there are no more concerns about server downtimes or maintenance windows. Your team can access the data and analytics services they need when they need it, ensuring seamless operations and enhanced customer satisfaction.

Tailored to Your Needs

While cloud computing offers expansive resources, it also ensures you're not paying for what you don't use. As demands fluctuate, cloud environments can be dialed up or down, ensuring you always operate efficiently without overspending.

5. Streamlined IT Operations

Agility is vital. For tech leaders and SMBs, “agility” means having robust, efficient, and streamlined IT operations. With the mounting pressure to deliver results faster and more reliably, the need for a smooth IT workflow has never been greater. This is where Managed Cloud Services truly shine.

Consistent IT Environments

One of the primary challenges many tech companies face is maintaining consistency across IT environments. Ensuring a unified IT environment can be daunting, with multiple projects running concurrently and different teams working on diverse platforms. Managed Cloud Services addresses this by offering standardized platforms, tools, and protocols. With this approach, your team can access a consistent IT environment no matter where they’re located or what project they are working on. 

Automated Workflows

Time is of the essence in the tech world. Managed cloud services integrate strongly with automated workflows. These automated workflows cut down manual processes, reducing the scope for errors and speeding up project timelines. Whether deploying new features, running tests, or patching systems, automation ensures quick and accurate completion.

Centralized Management

A centralized dashboard offers a bird's-eye view of your IT operations. Everything is available, from monitoring system health to tracking resource utilization. This centralized approach to IT operational management, data, and analytics facilitates faster decision-making and ensures you're always in the loop, even if you're away from the action.

Seamless Integration with Tools

The tech landscape is dotted with tools and platforms, each serving a unique purpose. Managed Cloud Services excel in ensuring that these tools seamlessly integrate with your cloud environment. Whether it's a new DevOps tool or a project management platform, you can be assured of hassle-free integration, ensuring your teams have all the resources they need without the usual integration headaches.

Real-time Monitoring and Alerts

Staying proactive rather than reactive is critical in modern IT operations. Any potential issues are flagged instantaneously with real-time monitoring, ensuring you take action before it escalates. Furthermore, intelligent alerts let the right stakeholders receive that information immediately, enabling them to respond quickly and efficiently.  

Elevate Your Business with Strategic Cloud Adoption

Throughout this post, we’ve explored the benefits managed cloud services can offer your small business. Cloud services are rapidly becoming a necessity in the modern workplace. The unparalleled scalability, security, and cost-efficiency make this choice a no-brainer. Still, for many businesses, navigating this transformation can feel overwhelming.

That's where Redapt can help. Our expertise in enterprise cloud adoption empowers businesses to rise above challenges, delivering products and services with unmatched speed and efficiency. Whether contemplating a full migration to the cloud or exploring a hybrid or multi-cloud approach, Redapt is ready to guide you. 

Ready to unlock the transformative potential of managed cloud services? Let's collaborate. Schedule a clarity call with our cloud adoption experts and begin your journey to work smarter, not harder, with Redapt.