The Four Types of Managed Service Providers
When public cloud was introduced over 10 years ago, it was viewed as an untested platform. The primary customers were developers who used cloud for their personal use. Today, public cloud is a mainstream IT platform. Many organizations are using it for production workloads, development, recovery and other business critical processes. With IT able to go directly to public cloud, Managed Service Providers (MSP) could be left out of IT planning processes. How MSPs respond will determine the success of their business.
Living in Denial
There are MSPs that are in denial regarding the success of the public cloud. These providers offer on-premises service offerings and focus on remotely managing IT assets for other vendors. MSPs who ignore public cloud are going to find themselves left out of the cloud conversation and IT budgets.
IT is going to realize that instead of purchasing hardware and software, and then going to a MSP for management, public cloud presents a better option. They can consume storage, compute and processing power in the cloud. MSPs need to take their head out of the sand, or they will not realize their customer base is dwindling.
The Power of Prayer
When I was in business school, the Dean always said, “Hope is not a strategy”. That applies to prayer as well. There are MSPs that are praying, or hoping, for cloud adoption to slow down. At the same time, they are waiting for someone else to solve the problem, to come to them with a portfolio of services that they can offer. While these MSPs are waiting for solutions, customers have found other vendors who have solutions available today.
The Tactically Thinking MSP
The tactically-thinking MSP primarily views the cloud as a competitor. Most likely, they are trying to convince their customers not to go to the cloud, positioning it as a trend or as unsecure. Their last resort is to offer cloud migration services so they aren’t completely left out of the conversation. These MSPs are missing out on a huge opportunity. The cloud is constantly consumed, providing an opportunity for ongoing services. These one-time services do not provide any other opportunities to engage with the customer.
The Strategically Thinking MSP
The Strategically Thinking MSP realizes the full opportunity that public cloud presents. As we have seen from several analysts, most organizations are looking for a multi-cloud strategy, but this isn’t easy. The strategically thinking MSP offers an effective multi-cloud approach, designed to optimize costs and performance to better serve the needs of the enterprise.
Finally, organizations have applications deployed on VMs, containers and bare-metal. Containers offer a clear benefit for development, but most organizations do not have the skills for this technology. MSPs that can guide the adoption and use of containers in an organization’s IT strategy will have a clear advantage.
The strategically thinking MSP invests in trends that are mainstream or on the cusp of becoming mainstream to solidify their role as the trusted advisor.