Success stories

Our customers come in all shapes and sizes.

We work with organisations from all walks of life, with different ambitions and requirements. Explore how we’ve helped them reimagine everyday, and align technology with their culture and business goals.

Cloud economics in a hybrid multi-cloud world

The hybrid multi-cloud world provides organisations with all the benefits of the public cloud, as well as predictable costs. Learn more.
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What are Microsoft 365 Managed Services?

Find out what Microsoft 365 Managed Services deliver and the benefits of outsourcing this IT operation in this article.
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What to look for in a new IT service provider

Are you looking for a new IT service provider? If so, read this blog post which shared 5 important things to look for when shortlisting potential partners >
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What is IT outsourcing?

Find out more about IT outsourcing in this blog post where we explore what it is, the benefits and use cases, and how to get started. Click on the link >
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IT outsourcing FAQ

If you have a question our IT outsourcing FAQ will help. From "what can I outsource?" to "how can I measure performance?", get the answers here.
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Cloud economics in a hybrid multi-cloud world

If the last two years has taught us anything, it is that all organisations need more flexibility so they can rapidly adapt to change. No more so than in the cloud where there are opportunities to attain that desired agility and business efficiencies, but often unknown challenges and costs. 

Predicting cloud costs and the total cost of ownership (TCO), regulatory governance and, to a lesser extent, security risk factors are increasingly driving conversations about whether it is appropriate to go all in with the cloud. Or whether a hybrid multi-cloud world is a better way of managing costs

If NASA can’t predict cloud costs, what hope is there for the rest of us?!

In 2019 NASA selected AWS to host its Earth Science Data and Information System (ESDIS) programme and make data from its Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) available to end users.

However, a 2020 audit report [PDF] from NASA’s Inspector General revealed that EOSDIS hadn’t properly modelled data download charges. NASA’s legacy Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs) don’t incur any costs when end users (researchers and commercial users) download data. 

The audit suggested that there would be an increased cloud spend of around $30m a year by 2025, because of the egress charges, on top of NASA’s $65m-per-year deal with AWS.

While you might expect NASA to have factored in egress charges, there are numerous other examples where organisations haven’t fully factored in all the costs associated with the public cloud.

Why cost governance is driving the hybrid multi-cloud

Typically, organisations fall into three groups:

The pioneers – organisations that moved everything into the cloud approximately five years ago, full lift and shift. Many of those organisations are now repatriating workloads back to on premise.

“Cloud repatriation is not a new concept. In 2019 IDC predicted that up to 50% of public cloud workloads would be repatriated to on-premises infrastructure or private cloud, driven by a mix of security, performance and cost issues.”


That’s because the pioneers have had the luxury of doing a cost evaluation of how much the public cloud has cost them, and in many instances the answer is a lot more than anticipated.

The followers – organisations that decided, maybe two to three years ago, that a public cloud first approach was the answer. Most of those organisations are a long way off being fully in then public cloud. Many of them have only moved a fraction of applications and workloads into the cloud and are struggling to migrate more. This is often because of legacy applications and workloads that are difficult to put into the cloud and are expensive to get there. Refactoring and re-platforming can cost three to four times more than if you’d kept it on prem.

Hybrid cloud evangelists – these are predominately new organisations that have been born in the hybrid multi-cloud world. As such, they can easily decide which workloads are best in the cloud, and what are better on prem. They have designed their whole infrastructure to be cost optimal.

Across all these groups we’re seeing a trend towards organisations making better decisions about which workloads or applications should sit on prem, and what should sit in a hybrid multi-cloud.

Hybrid multi-cloud means some workloads sit on prem, perhaps in a colo location or in your own data centre, and some resources sit in Azure, AWS, GCP or a smaller cloud service provider.

Which workloads and applications should go where?

The biggest challenge in a hybrid multi-cloud world is knowing what should go where. It’s about considering your static, predictable workloads versus your flexible or highly variable workloads. The public cloud is great if you need to run something for a few hours or days each week, but if it needs to be run 24/7/365 it can be very expensive in the public cloud.

Analysing the data and having visibility on what you’re spending and where, will help you manage costs and make better informed decisions so you can move workloads and apps to the most cost effective location. 

This enables organisations to be public cloud appropriate. You can use the public cloud and demand the resources you need where you can save money or it’s giving you the cheapest price. But don’t put apps and workloads in there that are going cost you more than if you put it, or kept it, on prem.

By using solutions, like Nutanix Beam, which abstracts the resources in the public cloud, in colo locations or running on your on prem data centre into a single pane of glass, you can achieve the cost governance required across a hybrid multi-cloud environment. In turn this will give you the scalability and flexibility desired and address your risk governance challenges too. 

Ultimately, it shouldn’t make any difference whether you’re using compute power from the public cloud, colo or on prem, all you should care about is whether you’re doing it in the most cost effective way possible.

How to have conversations about the benefits of a hybrid multi-cloud world with decision makers

For the organisations who are fully in the cloud, born in the cloud or perhaps on a cloud first trajectory, a conversion about hybrid multi-cloud can be difficult to have. It can be perceived to be a step backwards, or an admission of failure, and introducing the subject with decision makers may be challenging.

Total cost of ownership (TCO) is a key metric that will get people’s attention, and there are examples of cloud first organisations that have slashed their costs by adopting a hybrid multi-cloud approach. A cost evaluation is the first step to really understand how much your on premise and public cloud is costing, and then run a cost comparison to see what some of those workloads might look like on prem, colo and public cloud. If the saving is big enough, it should be quite easy to have that conversation with the CFO and CEO without anyone pointing the finger at whoever suggested going all in to the cloud to start with.

It’s not about saying the public cloud is bad, it’s about running the right applications and workloads in the right place. This helps your organisation get all the benefits of the public cloud without the unpredictable costs. 

If you would like to discuss hybrid multi-cloud and how you can get some certainty back in your life, please do not hesitate to contact our team.

What are Microsoft 365 Managed Services?

Microsoft 365* doesn’t stand still. To maximise your investment, admins need to continually manage, monitor and optimise 365, as well as provide end users with support. 

This can be a significant drain on internal resource. That’s where Microsoft 365 Managed Services fits in. Outsourcing this element of your IT operations helps your organisation maximise return on investment in 365, and frees up your internal team to focus on core activities. 

In our experience, many organisations are paying higher than the market rate for internal teams to manage and support Microsoft 365. Or they’re over-staffed in order to meet fluctuations in demand. Shared managed services address these issues, typically saving 1 – 3 people in your IT team. 

What are the benefits of Microsoft 365 Managed Services?

As well as driving cost efficiencies, outsourcing Microsoft 365 management and support delivers the following benefits:

  • Increases uptime of your 365 environment: proactive and reactive management and monitoring minimises downtime, pre-empts and quickly resolves any issues.
  • Boosts end user satisfaction: faster ticket response and resolutions times, managed by a professional service desk team, equates to happy users.
  • Interoperability of solutions integrated with 365: highly qualified Microsoft analysts ensure workflows from different apps work seamlessly in your 365 environment.
  • Better security, governance & compliance: access best practice and support to ensure your 365 environment is secure, data protected and your organisation meets compliance and regulatory requirements.
  • Increases productivity, collaboration and user adoption: maximise return on investment with end user support that empowers your people to do more with their technology.
  • Boosts your IT team’s productivity: free your team from 1st, 2nd & 3rd line support, tenant level admin, and service, incident and request management, so they can be more productive in other areas.
  • Access Microsoft 365 expertise: service desk analysts and technicians continually update their Microsoft qualifications and training, so your organisation has access to these specialist skills.

Find out how much outsourcing Microsoft 365 management and support would cost, click here to get a quote >

Microsoft 365 Managed Services methodology

Best practice is to take a holistic approach to managing your Microsoft 365 environment. Here at Cloud Business we like to visualise it as a wagon wheel, where our service wraps around every element of 365 and the ‘spokes’ integrate different aspects of the service.

With this approach your Microsoft 365 environment is aligned with your organisation, users and operational goals.

Got any questions? Book a discovery call for a chat about your IT environment, challenges and goals, and to explore if our Microsoft 365 Managed Services can help you get more from your technology.

*formerly Office 365, the Microsoft 365 stack includes Microsoft Teams, Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and other capabilities depending on your licensing plan. 

What to look for in a new IT service provider

A significant percentage of new customers come to us having previously outsourced their IT to another service provider. One of the main reasons for making the move is that the organisation requires greater coverage or a service expansion, and the incumbent IT service provider is unable to offer the services required.

Maybe your current IT provider only offers coverage during core business hours and your organisation needs 24/7. Or perhaps you’re expanding overseas and need global coverage with an IT provider who can negate any time zone challenges. Or your current provider only offers 1st line IT support and you need access to a wider range of technical skills and an outsource partner that can handle 2nd and 3rd line tickets as well.

Download our checklist to benchmark different providers. Based on the Service Desk Institute’s 4 * star accreditation, this will help you determine the quality of service you will receive. 5 things to look for when choosing a new IT service provider

#1: Track record

If you’re looking for a long term solution you’ll want to ensure the company you select is likely to stay the course. How long have they been around for? What’s their client retention rate? Do they provide services for similar organisations to yours? Have they grown during the time they’ve been in business? These are all valid questions for gauging how robust the business is, and any IT service provider with a solid track record will be happy to provide the answers.

#2: Customer focus

The service an IT outsourcing provider delivers has a direct impact on your business. For that reason you should partner with a company that’s invested in your success. By making your IT function more efficient, minimising downtime, helping your business innovate and driving cost savings, your organisation should be more productive and successful. Can they demonstrate how they’ve helped customers to be more successful?

#3: Do you want them to be part of your team?

Quality IT service providers become an extension of your team. Their service desk analysts speak to your users, their skills and expertise are at your disposal, the service they deliver reflects on your organisation operationally and reputationally. Are the people within the business, people you want on your team? Do they share your values, work ethic and understand your culture? As well as technical skills and capabilities these factors are important too.

#4: Custom solutions

Some IT service providers sell one-size-fits-all services and products, others will customise their solutions to fit your needs. Some will have a comprehensive range of IT services, effectively they can run your entire IT requirement for you, others specialise in cloud, service desk or cyber security. No solution is right or wrong, you just need to know what is best for your organisation. Not just today, but also in the future. Look for an IT service provider that is keen to understand your requirements and make recommendations based on your actual needs, rather than one who attempts to squeeze your IT requirement into their service model.

#5. Added value

What else can the service provider do for your organisation? Ask this question and see what the companies you shortlist have to say. IT providers deliver services and products to facilitate business operations, but they can also be a strategic partner helping your organisation achieve strategic goals and growth plans.

With so many IT service providers out there, offering such a range of different services and products, it can be a challenge to find the company with the best fit for your organisation. I hope the 5 pointers above will help you narrow down your shortlist.

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What is IT outsourcing?

Few businesses today can operate without a comprehensive range of IT solutions. For many, it would be impossible to communicate with customers, employees and suppliers, get work done or deliver products and services, without a robust IT infrastructure.

Maintaining and managing this infrastructure was once the exclusive responsibility of the IT department. However, in the last few decades, businesses have sought to streamline internal operations and drive efficiencies by using IT outsourcing providers, migrating to cloud platforms or using a combination of both. Many companies have also increased the amount of activities they outsource to specialised IT service providers, as the ROI makes a clear business case for doing so. Last year’s 2017 UK IT Outsourcing Study revealed that 35% of business respondents plan to outsource more IT activities this year (2018).

IT outsourcing is a solution many businesses are turning to, especially when it comes to managing IT services.

But what can you outsource? Essentially any IT function can be outsourced to an IT partner. From the total management of your IT department, to outsourcing a single component like your service desk. Infrastructure management, security & monitoring, IAM, service integration, end-user compute, etc. etc. are all functions that IT outsource providers can support your business with.

Find out how much outsourcing your IT service desk will cost your organisation. Use our cost calculator here >

Why outsource IT?

Reducing costs is one reason for outsourcing IT functions. With the emergence of cloud computing, IT is no longer something that needs expensive capital investments, on-site servers and hardware. Cloud platforms and services, such as software as a service (SaaS) solutions, have shifted the IT cost burden away from capital to an operational expenditure.

However, monitoring, managing all this technology comes at a price. Your IT team may now spend considerable time ensuring that performance is maintained and optimised, alerts are responded to, patches and backups are routinely performed and your users receive the IT support they need. As a result they may not be getting much time to focus on strategic IT projects or their core competencies and this can lead to low morale and high employee churn.

You may also be paying far more than necessary for these essential activities, and many tasks may be below your expensive IT professionals’ paygrade.

Benefits of IT outsourcing 

As well as driving down the costs, there are other reasons businesses choose to outsource IT. These include:

24/7 support – IT and network mangers like to go home at the end of a working day, but what happens if systems go down out of hours? Many businesses have employees and customers accessing their IT systems at different times of the day or night – working remotely, in different time zones, or if they are a B2C businesses. IT outsourcing can ensure that systems are monitored 24/7, and support is available in the event of any incident or query.

Quicker response times – most internal IT departments have limited resources in terms of staffing and capacity. Prioritising activities can be challenging, and balancing operational vs. strategic activities even more so. IT outsourcing ensures that incidents or planned activities are addressed in an acceptable timeframe, for example if IT support is outsourced your employers or other users have a dedicated service desk team dealing with any issues they have, not a network manager trying to provide support and at the same time patch systems or perform back ups and everything else that goes with that role. 

More expertise – IT outsourcing allows your business to access specialist support. Whether that’s analyst who has in depth knowledge of the systems you use, or a cyber security expert who can help ensure that your business balances risk, user experience and costs when exploring information security solutions. For most businesses having this level of expert support in house would be prohibitively expensive.

More cost savings – IT outsourcing saves companies money in a number of areas. The cost of IT infrastructure and technology is lower, especially when using cloud platforms. Solutions can be scaled according to your requirements, switching on and off services to reduce costs when demand is low. Staffing costs can be reduced, even when using onshore IT providers like Cloud Business. Potentially businesses can reduce their internal staffing levels, and the associated costs (holiday, sickness etc.) or use their team more strategically for revenue creation activities.

Strategic consulting – IT outsourcing providers can also support business objectives and strategic plans. With years of experience working across different companies and industries, as well as keeping current with the latest technology, they are well placed to advice IT directors and CEOs on their future IT requirements, aligning recommendations with the businesses’ objectives.

Getting started with IT outsourcing 

Deciding what areas of IT to outsource needs to be done the right way. Do you only want to outsource your IT service desk / support? Or are your company’s IT needs more extensive?

While IT outsourcing may appear to be purely an operational requirement, it can also be strategic. Managed Services can support your business goals, such as plans for global growth, new ways of working such as remote working, and support change and transformation programmes.

Focus on what you want to achieve before outsourcing any IT functions. Have a clear understanding of how you would want to work with an IT partner, the role they’re going to play in your business and the value you want to see. IT outsourcing providers use service level agreements (SLA), to ensure that all parties understand how their services will be delivered. It’s really important to make sure you have the right SLA in place to meet your needs. 

Depending on what you outsource, IT partners can improve operational efficiency, streamline communications, make it easier for staff to collaborate, improve security and make your company more efficient.

Please get in touch if you would like further advice or to discuss your IT requirements.

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IT outsourcing FAQ

As a leading, global IT outsourcing provider we get asked many questions daily. We have compiled below some of them that we hope will help you make your IT outsourcing decision:

Why outsource Information Communication Technology (ICT) services?

Unless you are an IT or communications company, it is unlikely that ICT is a core competency for your business!

We strongly believe that you should outsource any non-core competencies, such as IT, Finance, Legal and Marketing. You can benefit from the expertise of others while you focus on your specialism.

What can I outsource?

You can outsource any function that is a non-core competency within your business!

In terms of IT, you can outsource either your entire technology department, or a single service such as service desk, end-user support, server maintenance, email management, application support, IT security, telephony system support, network management, hosting of servers, ICT projects etc. for example.

Does outsourcing IT means I lose control?

No, not at all!

We work with complete transparency, you will have 24×7 online access to your own personalised company portal, where you can monitor the status of any incidents, problems or changes raised across your business, with full reporting and access to a “live” person 24x7x365.

This in addition to regular face to face or conference call service review meetings, where all aspects of our service are discussed. Your outsourcing agreement will also include a Service Level Agreement which outlines the minimum service commitments you can expect from Cloud Business.

Can I outsource my entire IT department?

In short yes!

Your IT staff’s employment status is protected by Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations, generally referred to as ‘TUPE’.

Will outsourcing save our company money?

In almost all cases, yes! If you already have an in-house IT team, then we can demonstrate cost savings over the medium to long term, and also the very short term.

Naturally, you will achieve cost savings through the transition of service delivery to a blend of both remote and desk-side delivery. For example, if you require extended service hours, then an outsourced service will allow you to achieve this at a significantly lower price point than recruiting the staff in house. Whether your IT department are over-loaded or not fully occupied, outsourcing may allow you to economise more effectively.

How quickly can I outsource my IT?

If your company is without IT support, then we can implement our services within a week.

If you are moving from another supplier, we typically transition the service during the month of the incumbent suppliers contract end. All parameters are customer specific and bespoke to your requirements.

Based on your recommendation, what should we ‘not’ outsource?

If you have a bespoke application that is vital to your business, you can consider keeping this service in-house.

If your ICT and communications systems are failing on a regular basis, you may expect an improvement project ahead of smooth service delivery.

How do I measure my IT outsourcing provider’s performance?

We have rigorous set of market leading service reports and measures to help you measure and monitor this service. This coupled with 24×7 access to a full reporting suite, regular face to face service and performance review meetings, regular communication.

You should also only consider service providers that attained industry recognised certifications in the specific discipline you are looking to outsource such as Service Desk. This ensures all aspects of the service is benchmarked against a rigorous set of pre-defined standards and the best in the world. The Service Desk Institute is one such organisation.

What other standard measures should we consider reviewing?

  • The availability of your critical applications, e.g. email, database, business line
  • How available is your network
  • The number of calls answered within service level
  • The ongoing reduction in problem calls being logged
  • Financial trends such as cash flow
  • A measurement of downtime.

Got any more questions? Please get in touch if you need further help.

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