Scaling Managed Services in the Cloud Era

The rapid adoption of cloud providers or Infrastructure as a Service (“IaaS”) has brought about a revolution in the way companies manage their IT. Everything from how they access third party applications to how they develop their own internal software is rapidly changing. More applications and internal workloads are moving from internal data centers to third party cloud providers or private clouds hosted on third party data centers.

The use of IaaS and SaaS providers has helped to reduce the difficulty of adoption, large upfront investment and high cost of maintenance that traditional on-premises software required of buyers by shifting the hardware procurement and software operational burden to the vendors. According to IDC Research, Cloud software will grow to $112.8 billion by 2019 at a compound annual growth rate of 18.3%.

However, these benefits come with some trade-offs to the customer, including less data control, data dispersed across locations and services, inconsistent and unknown security paradigms, usage and procurement tracking issues and many others. It is clear that the movement of IT workloads and services to cloud and SaaS providers is a once in a generation shift in how IT budgets are spent and the type of managed services companies need from their partners.

In order to stay relevant, Managed Service Providers (“MSPs”) need to be nimble and update the types of services they offer and the way they offer them to fit in with this new paradigm.

In this paper we will discuss how the dispersion of infrastructure and applications from internal data centers to many different locations and providers creates new opportunities for MSPs.

We will cover three relatively recent innovations that require a shift in the way MSPs deliver their services:

1) Companies are now using a hybrid of internal data centers, private clouds and third party IaaS providers to deliver IT, internally and to its customers.

2) Repeated breaches behind company firewalls have reduced the significance of perimeter-based network security and lead to “zero-trust” network security policies.

3) Micro service-based application architectures are being adopted by developers in order to keep applications resilient and efficient when using cloud infrastructure.

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