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By now, most industry leaders agree that it’s not a matter of if your company will move to the cloud, but when you will make the move. So how can you ensure that your cloud journey is successful? The answer might be as simple as asking the right people for help.

In a recent survey of IT professionals, the number one reason cited for failure of a cloud migration was a lack of understanding of compliance and security issues surrounding the implementation. Another top impediment was a general lack of advanced planning for the migration. As cloud providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) continually enhance and expand their offerings, the architectural options and complexities also increase. Here are three reasons you should hire a third-party consulting partner to help with your move to the cloud.

1.  Expertise

When navigating the complex landscape of a cloud migration, Jeff Fleece, Director of Cloud Consulting at Sungard Availability Services, offers the following advice:

“It’s time to be practical here. Cloud implementations have hundreds of moving parts. Planning has to take into consideration all of those parts: all the interdependencies have to be mapped, the timing for each part of the migration has to be perfect to avoid business interruptions, the applications have to be made cloud-ready, etc. … It is next to impossible for people to create a thorough, comprehensive cloud implementation plan when they haven’t done it before.”

The rapid growth of cloud adoption has led to the creation of a whole new sub-industry – Cloud Consulting Partners. While some legacy technology companies have developed cloud divisions to respond to customer interest, many new companies have emerged for the sole purpose of helping companies architect their cloud infrastructures for maximum security, availability and performance. This singular focus allows Cloud Consulting Partners to provide clients with the requisite experience and expertise for a successful move to the cloud. Additionally, these consultants often employ only engineers who have been certified by leading cloud providers as experts on the various cloud platforms.

2. Resources

Depending on the size and complexity of your IT environment, a well-architected, comprehensive migration could take weeks or even months. If you rely entirely on internal technical staff to accomplish the move, those employees are not as available to accomplish what you hired them for – to keep your operations up and running optimally. Engaging a cloud partner to spearhead the migration will ensure that your own IT staff are there when you need them.

3. Nexus

Architecting an optimal cloud solution is more of an art than a science and very little is routine in the world of cloud consultants. As a result, cloud partners are constantly researching new and innovative solutions to their client’s unique issues. Many times, third parties are engaged to provide these solutions, such as software-defined storage and networking. Cloud consulting partners are in the business of custom solutions and, as such, they show up with a virtual rolodex of diverse resources to assist with infrastructure optimization.

When you’re ready to embrace a cloud solution, don’t overlook the advantages of engaging a Cloud Consulting Partner. Their expertise and experience can guide you through the entire process, from pre-migration planning to environment maintenance.

Blue Sentry is an advanced-tier Amazon Web Services (AWS) consulting partner specializing in application and data migrations, expert managed services and virtual desktops. Blue Sentry serves clients globally, with operations in North Carolina and South Carolina.