So, you’ve decided to go to the cloud. It makes sense, as advances in cloud computing have spurred a growing demand for flexible IT provision and pricing – factors that are driving robust interest in consumption-based IT or “as-a-service” delivery models.
Yet, the benefits of switching to a consumption-based pricing model for IT services can easily disappear if you choose the wrong service provider. Not all service providers are equal and not all of them offer the same set of services.
A thorough due diligence up front is key when searching for a suitable partner that understands where you currently are. They must be able to help you determine where you need to go to best meet the business and operational objectives that you’ve mapped out. Choosing wisely now will save you a lot of pain and expense later.
I want to emphasise a very important aspect that must be considered – reputation. Yes, it matters a lot. Ask yourself how important your organisation’s data is. Then ask yourself how important it is to get value for the money you’ll invest in this project. If these are important to you, then it is important to worry about reputation.
A solid reputation and proven track record are not only based on success stories, but also on past failures and how these were overcome by the service provider. It’s not so much about failure as it is about a vendor’s ability to implement a successful fix and mitigate against similar challenges cropping up going forward. A reputable company will be as transparent about its failures as it is about its successes. If not, you should rather walk away.
Asking the right questions
Now that you’ve established that you are dealing with a reputable service provider, you need to dig deeper into the services and capabilities that they provide. To determine whether a particular consumption-based vendor is the right fit for you, these are the five key questions you should be asking them:
1. What improvements will you bring to my business model? If a service provider promises to change your IT environment completely, you need to know exactly what that involves. Determine whether the IT consumption service being offered is pay-per-use, a traditional purchase model, a subscription-based model, a cloud-only or hybrid approach. The suitable service provider will be able to deliver the option that meets your requirements.
2. Do you provide real consumption-based metering? Real metering allows an organisation to track exactly how much capacity it consumes and must generate data that ensures accurate billing. Powerful metering tools enable cost savings and provide visibility of how and what services an organisation uses. From an analytical perspective, these insights can be extremely useful for making informed decisions.
3. What are your capabilities and to what level do you offer consumption-based solutions? Determine what capabilities a vendor brings to support and enable any particular IT functionality. A consumption-based model is not just about the product, it should be a service offering. A service provider should be able to demonstrate the depth of their capabilities and how they will enable the customer to utilise the offering effectively to meet their needs.
4. How long have you been operating in the market? While it does happen that a start-up can deliver a consumption model fairly well, their skills and experience tend to be limited to their particular offering. Veteran players have the advantage of skills that have been honed over a long time and have experience in building robust and broad solutions. A well-established service provider can produce customer references that speak to its track record.
5. Does your consumption-based model include a service offering? A consumption-based offering should extend beyond just selling hardware. Not having access to services can lead to unanticipated costs and challenges for the customer. A capable and mature vendor should not only deliver the solution, but should also be willing to provide its skills to manage the proposed offering.
Transitioning to consumption-based IT often requires an entirely new business model that fundamentally changes how an organisation’s products and services are delivered. With this in mind – before making the leap to as-a-service – companies must obtain detailed information about vendors to determine if their proposed consumption-based offering will address customer requirements and market shifts.
Click here for more information >>