As the cloud continues to grow and the barriers to adoption continue to fall apart, an increasing number of businesses appear ready to do more than just use individual cloud solutions. According to MSPmentor, a new report from Digital Fortress shows a significant number of businesses now want to outsource their cloud management to a managed service provider (MSP) or cloud service provider. This fact marks a significant time for cloud managed services, but success is not guaranteed, since an increase in players in the market will force MSPs to predict their customers’ needs in order to stay competitive.
Managed Services Are in Demand
The Digital Fortress report centers around a survey of 100 IT decision-makers, and its results show just how far managed services have come with regard to the cloud. The survey found 65 percent of respondents plan to at least partially outsource the management of public cloud solutions to a third party. With 86 percent of respondents reporting they have some type of workload in the cloud, the number of businesses looking for help with cloud solutions is significant.
Private clouds may still have the advantage, with 48 percent of respondents reporting the use of a private cloud and 25 percent reporting the use of a public cloud. However, this could soon change. The survey found 39 percent of respondents plan on moving more workloads to the public cloud within the next five years. Perhaps the most important result for MSPs is that 70 percent of respondents preferred working with a single vendor to manage cloud, on-premises and collocated information.
Taking Advantage of Perfect Timing
The results of the survey show the market is primed to accept exactly what MSPs offer — that is, turning over complete control of data centers and associated cloud deployments to the experts at a managed services business. This transition has been happening slowly over the years, since business leaders were hesitant to trust third parties with their data. However, the explosive growth of the cloud and the productivity gains found there appear to have blown apart the remaining barriers.
Now, the difference between an MSP’s success and failure may come down to the ability to communicate its offerings and deliver exactly what these businesses are asking for. First and foremost, MSPs must master the cloud and, for the time being, hybrid cloud solutions that bridge the current divide between public and private deployments. This includes incorporating a number of other emerging technology paradigms, such as big data and Internet of Things solutions, with their cloud offerings.
Second, and eventually more important, is the ability to be the one vendor businesses can turn to for all their cloud solutions. Not only will this provide the MSP with increased revenue from cloud managed services, but as the idea of completely outsourced IT management takes hold, new relationships will put the MSP in the driver’s seat during the public cloud transition. This will set up MSPs to be the complete, long-term IT solution for all current cloud customers.
By Shawn Drew