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How to Know When to Abandon an Underperforming Cloud Provider

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The warning signs have been flashing for some time. Your current cloud partner isn't living up to its promises. It's definitely time to move to another provider...or is it?

Knowing exactly when it's time to switch cloud providers can be an agonizing process that requires careful consideration, analysis, and planning. "It’s important for customers to clearly communicate expectations to their service provider and let them know when and how those expectations weren’t met," said Brittany Hamm, global digital services lead at professional services provider Kalypso, a unit of Rockwell Automation.

Key indicators

Cloud providers exist to make money by helping and satisfying their customers, "so if you are questioning their promised service level, it’s important to identify the root cause," Hamm said. A key sign that a service provider isn’t living up to its promised service level is that your job is now harder, instead of easier, she noted.

Clear key performance indicators (KPIs) and service level agreements (SLAs), coupled with strong management and governance, will give early and frequent indications when a provider is not achieving its obligations, said Bernie Hoecker, partner and enterprise cloud transformation leader with global technology research and advisory firm ISG.

If KPI and SLA studies indicate a problem, it’s important to clearly communicate these facts to the service provider, letting the firm know how and where expectations aren't being met. "Customers that set clear expectations with their service providers can course-correct earlier in the process and mitigate future potential issues," Hoecker explained.

Many enterprises have adopted "cloud-first" strategies with the mistaken belief that life is always better and cheaper in the cloud. "They have not conducted the proper due diligence and coupled that with contract terms to ensure compliance," he said. That's generally a bad idea. "Jumping into the cloud without doing your homework can result in ‘cloud chaos’ with budget overruns, vendor lock-in, expensive and inflexible architectures, negative ROI, and more," Hoecker noted. "The advent of multi/hybrid cloud environments add complexity to a firm’s cloud estate and must be taken into consideration in terms of performance across the entire ecosystem."

Read the rest of this article on InformationWeek.