By Mark Clayman, SVP and General Manager, Enterprise Applications, Rackspace
The managed service provider landscape has rapidly expanded over the last few years as enterprises digitally transform. From managing legacy equipment, upgrading or replacing technology platforms and providing ongoing operations to helping align strategic IT and business requirements, MSPs are offering more services than ever before and becoming an essential asset to enterprise customers.
However, to keep that trust, we need to be ready to facilitate real change in IT operations.
The majority of organizations participating in a study by Researchscape, commissioned by my company, TriCore Solutions, are either considering adopting a cloud-first strategy or have already done so.This is a major transition that’s part of a larger transformation, and MSPs need to up the ante by providing services to streamline this process. Migrating to the cloud can be time-intensive and costly, which is why many organizations rely on partners with the knowledge and background to not only make sound recommendations but to see those recommendations through to execution and ongoing operations, extracting value for the organization throughout the process.
Further, a recent CompTIA survey found that almost half (45 percent) of organizations rely on some outsourcing of cloud-based services, and many of these could be included in an MSP contract. Opportunities are readily available for MSPs to thrive, and demand will continue to increase as the benefits of cloud migration become clearer to C-suites.
To meet these new demands, MSPs need to have the right background, knowledge and skills. Here are four main areas that MSPs should focus on to keep their competitive edge and become true partners to enterprises in the age of digital transformation:
1. Sharpen your cloud migration skill set. The cloud has reached a point of maturity as large enterprises begin putting mission-critical applications in public clouds such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform — something that even just a few years ago would have been unheard of. To support continued cloud adoption, MSPs need to have public-cloud capabilities so that they can migrate, deliver and manage every step of the way for organizations.
Too often, companies haven’t developed a strategy – even a loose one – for adopting public cloud technologies and solutions. MSPs should serve as true partners to to lessen the burden on organizations implementing a cloud strategy and trying to determine where to start, which applications to consider and how to migrate and operationalize these environments.
2. Prioritize the application stack. According to a recent 451 Research report highlighted in Forbes, 59 percent of enterprises predict that cloud-based software, infrastructure and applications will be their most significant investments over the next five years in the quest to reach their business goals. Additionally, 43 percent of IT leaders say 40 percent or more of the company’s budget is allocated to …