March 16, 2022
By Prasad Dronamraju
As digital transformation accelerates, managed service providers must innovate more quickly to provide efficient and optimized services to their customers. It’s become more challenging than ever for them to design a framework that’s sustainable, offers ease of adoption and is cost-effective for their customers.
While MSPs must evolve to keep up with changes in technology adoption, their day-to-day work remains the same. They continue to manage multiple tools, integrations, people and processes, while trying to find accurate root causes for critical issues and outage scenarios in the infrastructure and applications they manage. Over the last decade, the infrastructure and application spaces have seen drastic changes in the way they’re hosted, deployed and maintained as public, private and hybrid cloud models have taken shape.
Cloud technologies gave enterprises the freedom to bring new innovations to their applications with cloud-native technologies such as containers and Kubernetes without having to think about how much physical infrastructure is required. They could simply deploy the applications in the cloud in autoscaling mode. This ease of deployment ensures 365X24X7 availability of business services while boosting cloud adoption. This trend required MSPs to expand into becoming cloud service providers, transitioning their existing infrastructure and applications management services to software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings.
SaaS Consideration Points
Let’s look at some of the key points that MSPs should consider when choosing SaaS solutions:
Simple licensing model: In the pre-SaaS past, MSPs needed to procure and maintain multiple on-premises software licenses to implement a solution which included operating system, databases and product-related licenses to run their operations. This outdated model creates a lot of overhead for continuous maintenance, requires annual license renewals and forces MSPs to procure more licenses as new hardware is introduced in the ecosystem.
SaaS platforms provide simple licensing terms for resource on-boarding, platform upgrades, maintenance and a pay-per-use subscription model. SaaS platforms also provide usage analytics around the licenses consumed, as requested by the customers.
Modern and scalable: SaaS platforms are highly scalable, unlike dedicated legacy models which require procurement of new hardware as infrastructure and applications scale horizontally. SaaS providers upgrade and maintain their platforms and deploy ongoing enhancements to the platform to minimize impact on their customers’ businesses.
Accessibility: SaaS platforms are usually hosted in the cloud and open to the internet. This ensures MSPs and their end customers can access the platform anytime and anywhere by having internet access. SaaS applications can be accessed from laptop, mobile and tablets without limitations.
Ease of integration: SaaS providers enable MSPs to establish simple business-to-business and business-to-consumer integrations over the internet and provide an integrated framework for ease of use without complex infrastructure to be deployed in the back end for integration purposes.
Auto updates: Most SaaS organizations push updates to the platform on a daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly basis, which ensures the feature requests from end-customers are fast tracked and made available for usage with a minimal or no change-management process needed.
Secured environment: Delivering and consuming SaaS requires implementing the highest security guidelines. SaaS organizations go through multiple certifications, such as SOC2, OWASP, ISO 27001, ISO 23001 and other technical certifications, based on which industries they serve. All of these activities are implemented by SaaS organizations and MSPs can leverage them for their business requirements, which saves time and effort.
Backup and recovery: SaaS providers store customers’ data in the cloud for a predefined period of time and offer extensive APIs to access the data in push or pull channels. They also provide services for extended data retention with a minimal cost, without the hassles of maintaining the storage. MSPs leverage these services and provide operational reports to their end customers on a scheduled notification channel, such as an email on the first day of every month.
These advantages from the SaaS model allow MSPs to enhance their services without the need for heavy infrastructure and high operational costs. This also ensures that MSPs can train their staff on the niche domains where their services can be extended and build new, value-added service offerings, business opportunities and revenue streams. The result is that MSPs can respond faster to customer needs and changing business conditions.
Read more about:MSPs
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