Is the task of moving your enterprise applications and content to the cloud keeping you awake at night? Do you avoid the break room so you won’t be cornered by your boss for a cloud migration update?  You should find some comfort in the fact that you are not alone.

A number of recent reports, including Network World’s, “Help! Most enterprises turn to consultants when using the cloud,” point out that cloud migration challenges are a growing trend. A study cited in the article indicates that companies are overwhelmingly turning to professional services consultants to plan and even execute their cloud-related projects and initiatives.

According to an annual survey of global companies with at least $1 billion in revenues and 250 or more employees by Technology Business Research Inc.’s annual survey, the percentage turning to professional services firms for help with cloud migration rose from 59 percent in 2011 to 74 percent in 2013. This trend is likely to continue as estimates predict cloud services could approach $30 billion by 2018.

What does this mean to your business? You have a growing array of options to sift through when selecting a cloud consulting partner.  Many cloud service providers are building their own practices to help customers migrate to their platforms, simplifying the on-boarding process and shortening the time it usually takes for customers to start enjoying the benefits of cloud services. Cloud services consultants offer the advantage of infrastructure familiarity, which means they are often better able to assist businesses when it comes to resource deployment.

However, if you are in the planning or strategy stages and are looking for solution-agnostic, pre-deployment advice, you could turn to any number of the usual suspects in the IT consulting and system integration marketplace.  They, too, are expanding their portfolios to address the challenges customers are having in getting to the cloud.

After all, to get the most value out of the cloud, you want to optimize your apps to run there, not just forklift your current servers to their cloud equivalent. This may include many of the same things you would normally engage a consultant to help you with — things like platform design, networking and security, business continuity and data migration, to name a few.

So it shouldn’t come as any surprise that the knowledge, experience, and objectivity a third-party can offer are gaining in popularity.

Have you discussed the role of professional services consultants may play in your cloud migration? Are you considering passing some of your cloud headaches to a third party?

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