As we move into 2018, the cloud is no longer a “what if” but a “must have.” MSPs must determine how to fully exploit the cloud--for themselves and for their customers.
Indeed, cloud is no longer a question; it’s an assumption, according to Eric Newmark, program vice president for IDC's SaaS, Enterprise Applications, and Industry Cloud research practices. "Most businesses now think 'cloud first' when it comes to IT strategy, since the benefits of cloud are clear and have been broadly demonstrated in most industries,” noted Newmark in an abstract to the report “IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Cloud 2018 Predictions.” In particular, companies are expanding their use of the public cloud. According to Forrester study reported by Forbes, total global public cloud market will be $178 billion in 2018, up from $146 billion in 2017, and will continue to grow at a 22% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). Public cloud platforms, the fastest growing segment, will generate $44 billion in 2018. By the end of 2017, half of all global enterprises will rely on public cloud platforms.
Here are 5 things MSPs must consider in the new year:
1. Multiple clouds: No cloud solution is—or should be—an island. Most organizations will benefit from a mix of public, private and hybrid clouds. MSPs must develop strategies that enable innovation across clouds, without added cost or complexity. New partnerships, such as VMware Cloud on AWS, will open up new opportunities.
2. Cloud to the edge: 2018 will see cloud continuing to move to the edge, according to Gartner, as part of its Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2018. “Edge computing describes a computing topology in which information processing, and content collection and delivery, are placed closer to the sources of this information,” states Gartner. “While many view cloud and edge as competing approaches, cloud is a style of computing where elastically scalable technology capabilities are delivered as a service and does not inherently mandate a centralized model.”
3. Cloud as IoT optimizer: Gartner recommends that enterprises start using edge design patterns in their infrastructure architectures, particularly for those with significant IoT elements. Indeed, the Internet of Things will be, well, everything in 2018. Many companies, particularly SMBs, think that the Internet of Things is something to think about “later.” However, IoT devices are already deeply embedded in our workplaces in homes. Companies that don’t take advantage of IoT-generated data are leaving money on the table. MSPs are well-positioned to guide customers toward pragmatic use of IoT, leveraging the cloud back end and increasingly purpose-built cloud platforms for IoT scalability, security and manageability.
4. Digital workspaces: Companies that can provide end users with the ability to interact with the organization anytime, anywhere--using the devices, apps and platforms of their choice—will have serious competitive edge. Forrester predicts that more than 50% of global enterprises will rely on at least one public cloud platform in 2018. That critical tipping point over the halfway mark paves the way for MSPs to guide customers in empowering internal and external customers with a seamless digital workspace—and experience.
5. Security: As customers’ use of the cloud expands and evolves—especially those in industries such as healthcare, finance and government--there will be an ever-greater need for a cohesive security solution. MSPs of all types should consider adding a managed security offering.
Back in the day it was said that you couldn’t get fired for buying—or recommending--Microsoft. The same could be said now for cloud. Indeed, innovation today happens not in simply implementing cloud but in crafting agile solutions that leverage an ever-evolving cloud.
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