How Managed Cloud Services Can Take Your Business to New Heights: Exploring the Features and Functions

This blog post is the second in a series of posts focusing on InterVision’s Managed Cloud Services (MCS).  These posts describe the depth and breadth of MCS and show how InterVision’s managed services benefit businesses.  This post explains how and why companies benefit from managed cloud services in general and begins to explain why InterVision’s MCS is a premier offering.

Managed Cloud Services (MCS) is delivered by InterVision’s people, processes, tools, and technologies managing a client’s cloud environment.  It is a fully managed environment and relieves a client from day-to-day burden and worries that come with maintaining, operating, and updating their company’s critical technology asset.

But before we dive into the advantages of cloud managed services, let’s first look at why organizations are moving to the cloud.

Why move to the cloud?

The cloud has become essential to digital transformation, and digital transformation is an initiative every organization is going through, whether they recognize it or not.  The organizations that focus on their transformation are the ones that will gain an advantage over their competitors.  At InterVision, we pay close attention to what is going on in the overall market, and this will show you that you are not alone in your quest to optimize the use of the cloud to help your organization achieve its goals:

  • By 2025, Gartner estimates that over 95% of new digital workloads will be deployed on cloud-native platforms, up from 30% in 2021.
  • More than 85% of organizations will embrace a cloud-first principle by 2025 and will not be able to fully execute digital strategies without the use of cloud-native architectures and technologies, according to Gartner.
  • To achieve trouble-free digital transformation, enterprises need to offload routine operational support and focus on strategic initiatives.
  • Workloads must stay within secure configurations for best practices, security, and compliance.
  • To achieve ROI, organizations need to keep cloud costs in check. Overspending is common due to inefficient use of cloud resources and suboptimal purchasing plans.

However, there are challenges.

So there are many compelling reasons to move to the cloud, but there are several challenges that organizations face in doing so:

  • Managing cloud operations in-house often interferes with the ability to focus on strategic initiatives and business differentiators.
  • The cloud represents many benefits – but also significant risks, like migration failure, loss of network visibility (which can lead to increased service usage costs), increased vulnerability due to inadequate security, and a lack of compliance.
  • All these risks are often due to the scarcity of skilled architects and engineers to use the cloud appropriately.
  • To avoid these risks, buyers need a responsive partner who can understand their operational and business needs, support them with cloud expertise, and deliver as promised.

InterVision’s MCS is the solution.
The diagram below highlights the main areas of MCS: servers, controllers, Serverless, and DevOps – this is a wide array of services.

MCS Core Services

Let me explain a little more about each of these MCS core services.

Managed Cloud Server Services

This MCS core managed service offloads the burdens of day-to-day cloud tasks in six key operational domains:

  • Incident and Event Response
  • Change Management
  • Configuration Management
  • Security Management
  • Patch Management
  • Continuity Management

If your organization is doing this internally, do you have highly trained staff, processes, tools, and technology supporting these six domains 24/7?  At InterVision, we do, and it is at the very heart of our managed services.  There is tremendous experience, skill, and discipline across our teams.

This allows your team to focus on driving strategic business initiatives.   In addition to operational and strategic support, InterVision Managed Cloud Services include comprehensive cost optimization, which can save your business 30% or more on monthly cloud costs.*

An optional Compliance Management service is also available to help ensure your environment maintains CIS, PCI-DSS, or HIPAA standards.

Managed Container Service

Does your organization take advantage of containerization?  InterVision’s Managed EKS or AKS Services provide enhanced support for customer environments running Amazon’s Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) or Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS). In addition to the support provided as part of Managed Containers, InterVision delivers enhanced monitoring and incident response, management for leading third-party tools, security benchmarking, cluster upgrades, and application package management to simplify the process of building scalable and portable applications. To further support your Kubernetes operations, this service provides incident response and troubleshooting management from a dedicated support team.

Many of our new customers are using containerization, and we are helping others move to containerization on a daily basis.  Our clients are seeing significant benefits from moving their workloads into containers.  If you need help with containerization, we have a large team that focuses on this and other forms of Application Modernization.  This is another benefit you get by working with InterVision; we are not just a Managed Service Provider but also have large specialized teams skilled in application modernization and data analytic services.

Managed DevOps Automation

This MCS core service helps you modernize and optimize your application development deployment by providing the implementation, configuration, and management of your CI/CD pipeline.  Through this service, InterVision’s DevOps experts implement pipelines using infrastructure as code and provide ongoing monitoring and incident response to ensure the health of your application development pipeline.

Managed Serverless Environments

This MCS core service allows your team to embrace the scalability, agility, and cost savings of a serverless environment with expert support for AWS Lambda, DynamoDB, API Gateway, and Step Functions. Through this service, organizations can reduce risk and optimize their serverless environments by aligning to AWS best practices with ongoing monitoring, incident response, and change requests.

In addition to world-class core services MCS has many benefits

MCS eliminates the heavy lifting of cloud operations while delivering strategic guidance from certified architects. Clients quickly onboard, exercising InterVision’s cloud experts as an extension of their team to get the most out of their cloud investment.   The benefits and features of MCS include the following:

Mitigate professional risk

  • Accelerate innovation initiatives by focusing on strategy rather than operations.
  • Mitigate the risks of cloud adoption through best practices and certified expertise.
  • Meet your cloud-first objectives faster and more efficiently.

Address people challenges

  • Get support from certified experts 24/7.
  • Benefit from a deep bench – stop worrying about hiring, training, and retaining.
  • Tap into cost-effective resources.

Focus on key business initiatives

  • Allow key staff to focus on business initiatives by taking operations off their plate.
  • Train and focus staff on driving business rather than “keeping the lights on” in the cloud.
  • Enable the business to become faster, more flexible, and more agile.

Contain business risk

  • Reduce the risk of runaway costs through managed FinOps.
  • Mitigate security risks through best practices and certified experts.
  • Get access to cloud benefits (scale and cost savings) faster.

What’s in this for you?

So, I have been hammering on what MCS does and how good it is, but why should you care?  To further illustrate MCS’s benefits and features, let me ask you a few questions:

  • How do you currently manage your AWS environment?
  • How do you ensure adherence to best practices?
  • How do you manage staffing and after-business-hours support?
  • Does your company do application development in the cloud?
  • Are you looking to adopt more cloud-native technologies?

Now let me answer these questions to illustrate MCS’s benefits for you if you can answer all of these questions knowing that you have everything covered with your people, processes, tools, and technologies, then job well done!  Otherwise, you should consider MCS.

How do you currently manage your AWS environment?
Many organizations use existing resources to manage both on-prem and cloud workloads, yet significant differences exist in the technology, approach to security, and cost implications for each environment. Using existing resources may not be the most cost-effective and optimal approach.

How do you manage staffing and after-business-hours support?
Customers that use existing staff to provide after-hours support for their cloud environments risk employee burnout and turnover. In many cases, MCS can provide 24/7 support with a team of cloud experts for a fraction of an FTE. It would take multiple dedicated resources to provide this type of 24/7 support internally, making it cost-prohibitive for many organizations.

How do you ensure adherence to best practices?
Cloud platforms like AWS and Azure support the Well-Architected Framework, a series of best practices for ensuring that your cloud environment meets standards for operational excellence, security, reliability, performance efficiency, cost optimization, and sustainability.

As part of onboarding to MCS, we run tools to evaluate adherence to best practices and perform remediation activities. We can also perform a Well-Architected Review as part of a professional services engagement.

Does your company do application development in the cloud?
Companies that do application development in the cloud are excellent candidates for MCS. MCS can provide expertise in managing development tools and CI/CD pipelines. CI/CD, which stands for Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment, describes a set of tools that facilitate efficient development practices. However, many organizations need more expertise in optimizing these tools, which can impact their application development activities.

Are you looking to adopt more cloud-native technologies?
In many cases, companies can achieve high cost and efficiency gains by adopting cloud-native technologies. However, they may lack the skillsets internally to operate these technologies.

Many of you will recognize that you fall short in some areas, but I can hear your objections.  I’ve listed below some of the most common objections we hear from clients and our typical responses.

I have an excellent cloud architect already.

  • What happens if that person leaves the organization? Tech talent is hard to find – and retain.
  • With MCS, you don’t need to place all cloud responsibilities with one person. You can expand your team and get 24/7 support.
  • How much of that person’s time is spent simply keeping the lights on, instead of focusing on innovation or strategic activities that drive revenue?

We don’t have the budget for that.

  • What’s the cost of doing nothing and hoping nothing bad will happen?
  • Are you confident your environment is configured according to best practices?
  • How are you managing reserved instances today?

We only need to help with a couple of projects – so we would instead use professional Services instead.

  • Our professional services team is outstanding, but they’re not available 24/7 to address issues
    in the cloud.
  • Our Managed Cloud Services team provides 24/7 management and support.
  • With ongoing management of your cloud environment by experts, you free up your team to focus on strategic initiatives while ensuring your environment runs smoothly.
  • Proactive management of your cloud workloads reduces risk and increases uptime and performance.

The diagram below highlights the key features of MCS: all day and night, fast response, highly secure, cost-effective, resilient, with rapidly effective change management.

In Summary:

OK, so we have gone over many different aspects of cloud and managed cloud services, and now I will summarize MCS so that you have a clear picture of why MCS is a premier service.

InterVision’s Managed Cloud Services is a suite of managed services with layers of enhanced security protection designed to match your operational and strategic needs no matter where you are in the cloud adoption process. With dedicated 24/7 support, InterVision Managed Cloud Services eliminates the heavy lifting of cloud operations while delivering strategic guidance from certified architects to modernize, optimize, secure, and protect your cloud workloads.

Clients quickly onboard, exercising InterVision’s cloud experts as an extension of their team to get the most out of their cloud investment. With a dedicated support team, clients receive hands-on management of migration runbooks, “game day” scenarios, and business reviews combined with ongoing architecture, security, and cost optimization support.

  • Offload routine operational support of your cloud environment
  • De-risk your cloud environment
  • Automate your cloud environment with infrastructure as code
  • Improve software development and release cycles with managed DevOps automation support from experts
  • Adopt and deploy modern container-based and serverless architectures with expert guidance and support
  • Achieve compliance requirements through monitoring and alerting of configuration changes and vulnerabilities
  • Increase visibility into and management of utilization and cost
  • Reduce cloud costs with comprehensive cost optimization, which can save your business 30% or more on monthly IaaS Cloud spend
  • Managed cloud security with workload protection on virtual machines, file security storage protection, and more, ensuring your cloud’s security is complete.

In addition to managing cloud environments, InterVision can also manage your on-premises infrastructure, servers, network, security, business continuity, and unified communication environments to complement your cloud environment.

In my next post, I will dig more into the technical details of InterVision’s MCS.

* Terms and conditions apply; contact InterVision for details. Minimum monthly AWS spend of $20,000. Client must provide all necessary inputs and access to allow InterVision to run the complete assessment. Can not have participated in a Cost Optimization or Well Architected review in the previous 12-months. Currently, not utilizing AWS reserved instances prior to the review. Guarantee provides refund of a portion the paid CCO service fees and is proportional to the amount InterVision is unable to identify under 30%.