You probably think the days of traditional Managed Service Providers are numbered - and you’d be right.
But that doesn’t mean that Managed Service Providers are on their way out. In fact, a completely new breed of Managed Service Provider is emerging - the Cloud Managed Service Provider (Cloud MSP) - and this component of the Cloud IT industry will continue to grow at 11.5 percent year-on-year until 2021 according to BCC research.
So, what’s driving this impressive growth?
The emergence of hyperscale cloud managed service providers
In the past, there were two main categories of IT services: System Integrators (SIs) and Managed Service Providers (MSPs). The SIs would design, build and deploy IT solutions and then hand over the keys to the MSPs, who would manage and operate these solutions on behalf of your business. Each would blame the other for IT systems that underperformed and rarely delivered promised business outcomes. It was an approach that often delivered little in terms of business outcomes.
But in the age of the hyperscale cloud, managed services are evolving. Today’s Cloud Solution Providers, some of which are Cloud MSPs, offer ‘complete’ IT solutions, enabling their customers to consume the functionality they need on-demand. They provide complete, end-to-end services that include:
- High-touch support
- Monthly billing
Much like the explosion of the video streaming market, service providers who embrace this opportunity and change will emulate the success of services such as Netflix, while the rest will go the way of Blockbuster Video.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at the three ways modern day service providers are evolving to help companies like yours embrace a cloud-centric vision of their business.
Three things all successful cloud managed service providers have in common
Unlike product resellers and software distributors, traditional MSPs have always been a bit more than industry middlemen. As the prospect of moving workloads to the hyperscale cloud becomes more advantageous, Cloud MSPs can help you avoid common migration pitfalls and outpace the competition.
1. IT Functionality as a Service
While a ‘lift and shift’ approach to cloud computing still has its supporters, most companies are looking for much more than a ‘your mess for less’ scenario.
Modern Cloud MSPs can help you decide which workloads are better suited to the hyperscale cloud and then design, deploy and optimise solutions that make the most of the cloud’s unique capabilities. But they take this one step further by managing, operating and supporting these solutions as a service - freeing up expensive in-house technical resources for core business innovation and IP creation.
For modern businesses this approach to IT is the natural next step. Cloud MSPs not only understand how to manage and support things like infrastructure, databases, networking and disaster recovery but also how to design and deploy them as scalable, consumable services. Outsourcing the provision of IT functionality in this way makes it easier for companies to stay agile and able to respond rapidly to external pressures or internal innovation.
1. Generating value from everyday IT
By migrating to the hyperscale cloud, you can access computing resources and sophisticated capabilities that are not available on-premise or even with a larger service provider. For example, many companies are beginning to understand the value of data analytics, but can’t unlock enough computing power to draw actionable insights.
The hyperscale cloud makes these resources accessible at the click of a mouse. And the right Cloud MSP will help scope, cost and deploy the capabilities you need and then manage it all for you, dramatically reducing the time it takes to get your innovations to market and generating revenue.
2. Helping you make change happen
According to Forbes, 84 percent of digital transformations end in failure. But what’s preventing their success? In most cases, misalignment between IT projects and business goals lead to a weak transformation strategy.
The best Cloud MSPs get to know your business intimately and identify approaches that will deliver fantastic results. They look at the bigger picture and assess how technology can underpin your business objectives. By focusing on clear business outcomes, these Cloud MSPs help you build a viable business case for all IT investments, drive value through expert capability and align everything with your cloud transformation strategy.
Managed services are dead. Long live managed services.
By 2021, it’s estimated that 94% of all IT workloads will run in a cloud environment with the majority of these in the hyperscale cloud. With the IT landscape changing for good, the right Cloud MSP can help you make sense of the new world and deliver game-changing business innovation capabilities.
Remember - look for a Cloud MSP that:
- Is a thought and practice leader in hyperscale cloud
- Has a solid provenance – acknowledged expertise and credible track record
- Knows how to appreciate your business objectives and can prescribe cloud solutions that will deliver them
- Provides value-added services beyond the simple management of cloud platforms (they should be able to design, build and deploy your solutions too)
- Is outcome-focused and capable of engaging in consultative collaboration
Managed services are no longer about keeping the lights on; they’re about creating light bulb moments that take your business to the next level.