Apparently, managed service providers believe strongly in cloud computing. Nearly 20 percent of managed service providers already monitor and manage customers' cloud applications -- and a large percentage of MSPs plan to do so shortly, according to the latest MSPmentor online reader poll. Here's a sampling of the results.
In a poll launched May 19, we asked:
How soon will you monitor and manage customers' cloud applications?Here's how readers responded:
Or in other words:
- 18 percent of participants already monitor and manage customers' cloud applications.
- 18 percent plan to add that service sometime in 2009.
- 34 percent plan to add that service sometime in 2010.
- 24 percent are unsure of their managed cloud services plans.
- And 6 percent think they'll never offer such services.
Behind the NumbersAdmittedly, this wasn't a scientific poll. But the stats are both encouraging and concerning.
To me, "the cloud" has become a catch-all term that describes off-premise or hosted applications and services -- everything from the Google Apps Reseller program to Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) to Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Some MSPs may surely struggle to get their arms around all of those emerging and competing technologies. Plus, they need to somehow offer customers clear guidance on how to leverage cloud services.
Still, some promising trends are emerging. I've noted multiple times that Level Platforms has clearly articulated a strategy for Managed Cloud Services -- including tools to help MSPs manage BPOS and other third-party applications that run in SaaS (software as a service) configurations. And I've noted two solutions providers -- Levementum and OpenBI -- that are worth tracking as they deploy applications in the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud.
No doubt, most MSPs will require much of 2009 and portions of 2010 to sort out their cloud strategies.
Our Next PollIn the meantime, we've kicked off our next weekly reader poll. This one asks: Which type of tool should MSPs deploy first: Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) or PSA (professional services automation)? Participate here now:
The poll above closes on Friday, May 29.
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