Most companies begin considering outsourcing IT because of the potential cost savings, but it’s easy to get excited quickly about all of the potential benefits of using an expert to make a cloud migration: agility, work-from-anywhere flexibility, frequent innovations and updates, and the relief of all maintenance and troubleshooting from your IT team.
But as you consider managed IT, it’s a good idea to slow down and consider every angle of the transformation you are anticipating. Outsourcing IT comes with some legal implications that should be fully understood and addressed before shifting to a cloud solution:
Service Level Agreements: Your cloud provider will offer a service level agreement (SLA) that details when your provider is contractually obligated to assist you and within what timeframe that assistance is required. It will provide guidelines for which types of issues they will resolve.
The SLA may also include parameters for guaranteed uptime, which is the amount of time that the system will be operational. While 99.9% sounds promising, depending on the size of your organization, there may be a distinct difference in lost sales and productivity between 99.98% and 99.95%. It’s a good idea to talk with existing customers of the providers to see what their actual uptime is.
You should also find out what the consequences are for your provider if uptime or other SLA provisions are not met. Do you receive a discount on your invoice or are there other provisions for a failed SLA?
Your managed services provider should help you determine which cloud provider will offer the best SLA.
Security: Outsourcing IT means bringing in an expert third party to help control your data security and systems security. You need to know where the responsibility lies for each party involved in your cloud environment and identify any potential gaps in policies.
It’s also important to note that while your cloud provider may share your general approach to security and appear to have robust systems in place, the impact of a breach ultimately needs to be considered as a risk owned by you. They are your customers, your proprietary data, so you need to ensure that the cloud provider is following the security practices that align with your own. Here’s where your managed IT partner will help make sure your cloud vendor is security-first, so you’ll know you’re protected.
Exit Management: It seems unnatural to include this as part of your contract conversations while considering outsourcing IT, but it’s a critical part of the process. You need to plan ahead for when you are in a transition between this provider and another, with details about how information and complex computing systems will be handed over to you or to the new supplier and continuity planning. In addition, your provider needs to have a plan in place in the event that they are no longer choosing to support the technology. How much advance notice will they provide if they determine they will no longer offer the solution? When you outsource aspects of your cloud migration, your managed IT partner will help you figure all of this out.
Outsourcing IT is an exciting prospect for your business, with substantial potential benefits that can provide a competitive edge when making a move to the cloud. But the legal questions can create some obstacles in your migration process. Working with the right managed services provider can ease this part of the transformation since they have specialized knowledge around helping you choose a solution that both fits your needs without creating unnecessary legal burdens.
Contact us at eXemplify to learn more about how we guide you through the stickier parts of outsourcing IT. From evaluating your needs and helping you leverage the right technology to evaluating SLAs and licensing specifics, eXemplify provides the experience and expertise you need for a successful digital transformation.