July 20, 2016
By Kirill Bensonoff
New business opportunities are popping up everywhere for managed service providers that are intent on providing high quality services. According to CompTIA’s Fifth Annual State of the Channel Report, 66 percent of people surveyed are “generally optimistic” about the future of managed services.
According to Trends In Managed Services: Three Predictions For 2016, “IT solution providers will be able to further enhance their ability to drive revenues and sustain their businesses by specializing in technologies such as cloud computing or security, or vertical markets including financial services, healthcare, and the public sector.”
What Are Managed Cloud Services?
Managed cloud services can include areas such as managing virtual machines, cloud services, storage, and applications that are running on public clouds like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.
Managing these is not that different from what MSPs have been doing for years on-premise. Managed cloud services encompasses managing the health and performance, security, and controlling public cloud spend, all with the goal of ensuring your customers are up 100 percent of the time, are secure, and are spending the least possible amount of money for their infrastructure.
Five Business Opportunities for Managed Service Providers
Here are five ways that MSPs can leverage cloud to grow their businesses:
1. Cloud Migration
“Migrating to the cloud is often touted as a no-brainer. But not all workloads benefit from the move, so hammer out a solid cloud migration strategy,” says Brien Posey.
Offer cloud migration services to companies that want to move their applications to the cloud with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. Migrating applications and processes to the cloud can be a daunting process for any company, especially those without the technical know-how. By providing a solid migration strategy along with technical expertise, you can provide a valuable service which can then lead to securing long term, recurring managed cloud services contracts.
2. Managed Cloud Services
After you’ve helped your customer migrate their applications to the cloud, they will need an expert to help them manage their new cloud service provider(s). At this point, it becomes easier to switch the customer to a long-term managed service. This allows you to transform a client from a one-off project to recurring to managed cloud services.
3. Application Development
Not all MSPs offer this service, but everyone should decide if it makes sense, or partner with someone who does (one example is CloudConstruct). Once the initial cloud migration is done, it makes sense to allow your own developers or your partners to continue adding value by maintaining and improving applications.
DevOps is that fast-growing phenomenon that few MSPs, like G2 Technologies, have mastered. DevOps sits between IT and development and helps with code deploys, cloud scalability, architecture and other services, in essence providing some of what managed cloud services is. If you haven’t yet noticed, many developers no longer need IT, and learning to speak DeOps is a key to working with people who write code.
5. Security & Compliance
It seems like every day, we’re hearing about companies like Wendy’s and Target that have been hacked. Becoming a domain expert in security, specifically as it relates to public clouds, will really make you stand out from the crowd.
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