MCSP – The Future of Managed Service Providers (MSP)?

The term managed service provider or MSP has been around for a while now. However, a recent shift in the way the enterprise consumes IT services and resources has prompted a change in the services delivered by managed service providers. Traditionally, a managed service provider oversees a client’s end-user systems and/or IT infrastructure on a proactive basis and under a subscription model. This entire arrangement is typically hinged on the MSP’s ability not only to demonstrate, but also provide additional value to the company. It’s no secret that cloud services have become a clear standard for enterprises. With most clients now adopting a cloud-based business model, it is crucial partners not only adapt to this new environment, but lead as a trusted adviser to remain relevant to their client base.

From Managed Service Provider (MSP) to Managed Cloud Services Provider (MCSP)

Innovations in mobile applications, big data, and social media have now become a staple, not only in IT but also in business. As a result, several MSPs have seen their companies transform to managed application and cloud services. As their clients’ IT infrastructure components migrate to the cloud, MSPs have been forced to offer their own cloud services, manage hybrid cloud environments, or resell other cloud capabilities. Briefly, MSPs have set out on a journey to become managed cloud services providers.
A recent study by CompTIA (The computing Technology Industry Association) found over half the companies surveyed had worked with an MSP for cloud-based services within the last year, and that number is only set to increase. Today, organizations are turning to their managed service provider for guidance and support as they move into the cloud. Only MSPs that can provide added value around cloud services will succeed in this emerging market.

What is a managed cloud?

A priori truth is that a cloud deployment cannot maintain or manage itself; every cloud must be managed by someone. This is where a managed cloud service comes in. These services allow businesses to tap into the power of cloud computing, without the having hustle of having to attain expert level knowledge about all the intricate details of cloud deployments. By utilizing a managed cloud, enterprises can now focus on their pith business – building great products or applications, delivering quality service, and landing new customers. They can remain fast and lean, without having to balloon their payroll with huge teams of system administrators, ops engineers, and other experts to manage IT that does not necessarily differentiate the company.
A laconic way to describe managed cloud services would be, outsourcing the daily IT management of cloud-based services and associated technical support in a cost-effective manner to improve your business operations significantly.

When does an MSP become an MCSP?

Managed cloud service providers are positioned to provide a vast array of smart choices for a company. Clients are looking for an MSP capable of managing workloads in reliable cloud services. Managed cloud services allow enterprises to improve competences they lack or replace the processes or functions that contribute to the large recurring costs of managing a cloud deployment.

Some issues most organizations need help with when migrating to the cloud include:

I. IT infrastructure efficiency

Infrastructure associated with cloud deployments must be standardized, consolidated, orchestrated, and automated end-to-end to maximize asset utilization and reduce the cost of delivering cloud services.

II. Data center efficiency

Some data center efficiencies the cloud demands are cooling, space, and power. Whether the organization owns the data center or it is hosted, these are important factors that have to be put into careful consideration to drive the service delivery cost down.

III. Organizational efficiency

Hallmark of a successful cloud deployment is a service-oriented enterprise with unified, converged, and highly specialized teams capable of enforcing automated, streamlined, and strict processes. The cloud is a paradigm shift that demands simplicity and discipline.
A good MCSP should be capable of meeting all the above needs and then some. The inherent value of support and customer service provided by a managed cloud service provider’s infrastructure and applications can be an epoch-making investment towards business success. To reap the full benefits of these investments, organizations require support that makes the best use of system availability and optimizes performance. Most companies have realized that an end-to-end cloud solution is more than technologies, tools, and processes. The true value lies in the services delivered and the expertise a managed cloud service provider offers.

In Closing

As the advancements in mobility services, big data, and cloud computing continue to make leaps and bounds in the enterprise, the managed service providers cannot afford a ‘one-trick pony’. They have to bundle cloud services. The world will likely shrink for MSPs that cannot adapt to this new model, where you are helping an end-user client utilize technology as opposed to building the technology on a server.

Author: Gabriel Lando