Attracted by the promise of leaner operations, reduced costs and simplified management, companies are switching from on-premises data centers to colocation providers and cloud storage solutions. As this transition occurs, however, it is important for businesses to ensure they are adopting third-party solutions that actually fit their specific needs and work toward their stated goals of leaner approaches.

In a recent interview with Network World, pharmaceutical IT executive Nathan McBride outlined the ways his company has shifted toward a more efficient IT model by abandoning its own data centers in favor of outsourced solutions. One of the factors he pointed to in the decision-making process for creating a leaner business was diversifying the set of cloud service and managed services vendors his company used.

“[F]rom a cloud vendor approach, we’re constantly looking at the market and saying, ‘Here’s our business need, and who is the best in the industry in this particular niche?'” he told Network World. “Our loyalty only extends to those who innovate the fastest.”

With a managed services model, companies gain the ability to tie their IT to solutions providers who are implementing state-of-the-art technologies rather than waiting for the slow refresh cycles endemic to on-premises deployments. At the same time, a cloud provider can be an inhibitor as well, industry expert Bill Kleyman noted in a recent post for Data Center Knowledge. With pre-packaged solutions, many cloud services vendors simply offer companies standardized products and offer little interest in clients beyond signing them up.

To actually ensure they’re not only taking advantage of the latest technology but also the technology that’s best suited for their specific needs, businesses can benefit from adopting a cloud services portfolio that includes smaller vendors dedicated to deploying custom solutions. Moving away from the on-premises data center carries many advantages, but businesses should be thoughtful about doing it in the right way with managed solutions. In particular, choosing a managed solutions provider that is technology agnostic is key, as this breadth of support can help organizations more seamlessly transition to the cloud at their own pace and address unique business challenges.