Cloud jumping: When it's time to switch providers

Relationships with vendors seldom last forever. Here's how some IT managers have approached change-ups with their cloud providers.

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When Creative Solutions in Healthcare, which owns 75 nursing homes in Texas, first headed to the cloud nearly five years ago, it chose a local managed service provider (MSP).

"We wanted to support a Texas business and hoped they would ride the train with us as we grew," says Shawn Wiora, CIO and chief security officer at the Fort Worth-based organization. "Unfortunately, that didn't happen."

Instead, as Creative Solutions in Healthcare grew to its present size of 6,000 employees and thousands of nursing home residents, the MSP fell behind. With an all-physical server infrastructure, it didn't have the skills to handle the virtualized environment that Wiora required to scale up back-office applications, including accounting, purchasing, business intelligence and document management systems.

Also, as Creative Solutions in Healthcare expanded, the service provider lacked the expertise and technology to assist Wiora and his team with important issues such as HIPAA compliance, data privacy and overall security in the cloud.

It became apparent that Creative Solutions in Healthcare had outgrown the MSP and needed to jump to a new cloud platform. "We still feel like we made the right decision going with the smaller player at the time, but they definitely didn't have what we know we need now," Wiora says.

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