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Cisco: Cloud Changes, Complexity ‘Represent Opportunities for Our Partners’

Cisco’s Kip Compton talks about why organizations need the channel more than ever.

Kelly Teal

October 30, 2019

3 Min Read
Cloud Computing
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Research firms continue to find that hybrid cloud configurations prevail among organizations, and new data from IDC, sponsored by Cisco, reaffirms that trend.

Hybrid cloud – the mix of public and private environments – is vital for its ability to meet unique needs, including vertical-specific privacy and compliance requirements. To that point, IDC discovered that 92% of the companies it polled (2,200 altogether) rely on hybrid cloud for SaaS, IaaS and PaaS.

Yet what may prove most important to channel partners is that results in the recently released Infobrief, “Transforming Applications and Multicloud Operations,” further reinforce enterprises’ enormous need for outsourced assistance.

More demand lies on the horizon and partners must plan accordingly.

For starters, Kip Compton, senior vice president, platform and solutions for Cisco, told Channel Futures, “A big increase in applications is coming in the next two years.”

Indeed, IDC said organizations will see a 50% jump in the number of applications they use over the next two years. This will set the stage for unprecedented management complexity. As IDC analysts noted, shifts to modular application design, microservices, containers and cloud-native applications, along with IoT and edge initiatives, will all create disaggregated – yet highly interdependent – app portfolios. Resellers and managed service providers can stand out as key facilitators and management experts in addressing that challenge.

“Cloud architects and application owners will have to increasingly consider governance models that best fit their requirements for performance, risk management and agility,” analysts wrote. “This work will involve aligning development teams, IT ops professionals, security teams, key stakeholders and executives around a core set of standardized processes and workflows.”

IDC predicts a new generation of cloud architects is emerging in response, especially in relation to multicloud environments (88% of companies have two or more cloud providers, IDC found, with the average totaling 16). These experts, who can be channel partners, will help form Cloud Center of Excellence teams that collaborate to ensure positive outcomes across the business.

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Cisco’s Kip Compton

“There’s a shift in the way enterprises are driving cloud programs, in the way decisions are being made,” Compton said. “Partners can help customers put together Cloud Centers of Excellence.”

As for how to construct a Cloud Center of Excellence, IDC provides four general areas to focus on when transitioning from standard environments:

  • Operating interoperable, automated, governed multiclouds at scale.

  • Preparing the organization for workflow changes.

  • Building a culture of organizational change.

  • Dedication to continuous improvement.

Partners, especially MSPs, also can do more to take load off their clients when it comes to cloud operations. In terms of day-to-day responsibilities, respondents told IDC they want to spend less time troubleshooting problems and outages (40%), less time deploying and installing systems (39%), and less time attending to hardware break/fix issues and ongoing maintenance (38%). These IT professionals would prefer to focus on planning and design (32%), business alignment and stakeholder collaboration (29%), and security (28%).

Compton said much of this boils down to IT departments at last becoming less procurement-driven and more strategic. As cloud (and multicloud, in particular) brings about “the seminal transition in IT of our time,” he said, organizations are seeking innovation and value. Knowing that, the call to partners seems clear. Compton agreed. If they haven’t already, partners should think about adding, or improving, their professional, implementation and managed service practices, he advised.

“All of these changes and complexity represent opportunities for our partners,” Compton said. “The vast majority of enterprises are looking for help and looking for partners to help take them on this journey.”

Cisco plans to discuss many of these ideas at Partner Summit next week in Las Vegas.

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About the Author(s)

Kelly Teal

Channel Futures

Kelly Teal has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and analyst, with longtime expertise in the indirect channel. She worked on the Channel Partners magazine staff for 11 years. Kelly now is principal of Kreativ Energy LLC. Follow her on LinkedIn at /kellyteal/.

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