Guest Column | February 5, 2019

5 Cloud Trends MSPs Need To Be Considering

By Mark Kirstein, BitTitan

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As we hurtle headlong into the new year and MSPs set ambitious goals, it can be helpful to consider the broader direction of the technology industry. By thinking about trends — such as growing hybrid cloud strategies or the need for better data governance — MSPs and IT professionals can be better prepared for the future and more effective as they forecast revenue, consider new service offerings, or even how to improve customer satisfaction rates.

At BitTitan, we’ve spent some time thinking about 2019 and have five key predictions which may be helpful for MSPs. They are as follows:

  1. Cloud-To-Cloud Migrations Will Outpace On-Premises-To-Cloud Migrations

This year will bear witness to the continued upswing in cloud-to-cloud projects, which will likely be the first time those types of scenarios will keep pace or overtake on-premise-to-cloud migrations.

The reasons are many but include an increase in the number of legitimate cloud vendors and more sophisticated cloud customers. Enterprises are becoming more astute and educated in their choice of cloud providers. They also have honed their goals and are looking for ways to optimize their sizable cloud investments.

  1. Mixing And Matching Cloud Services Will Solidify As The Norm

In the coming year, we also believe will continue to see growth in hybrid and multi-cloud strategies. The hybrid approach provides many of the same benefits as a multi-cloud approach, but instead of a complete cloud migration, companies retain a mix of cloud and on-prem services.

The multi-cloud approach enables more flexibility for IT leaders and more openings for negotiation with providers. Enterprises can choose a cloud provider that makes the most sense given their unique business objectives, while also staving off fears of vendor lock-in.

Finally, we’ll see an influx of SaaS solutions and department-level technology decisions that will more significantly impact IT teams who must ensure that everything operates smoothly together. This will mean that many SMBs will be looking for software solutions to help with IT management and troubleshooting.

  1. Rigorous Data Governance And Security Plans Will Be The Name Of The Game

As IT complexity grows in the coming year, look for a laser focus on data governance improvements. As data — an organization’s most vital asset — continues to grow exponentially, we’ll likely see the adoption of new data policies around managing availability, usability and integrity, with changes in retention policies as well. As a result, it will be critical that data governance programs be scalable and sustainable.

MSPs also will need to consider how best to educate users. While the cloud offers improved security when compared to on-prem systems, there are also new points of vulnerability. MSPs will need to help clients defend their businesses and their data through a proactive approach.

  1. Mergers And Acquisitions Will Continue To Fuel Migrations

The strong upward cycle in mergers and acquisitions will likely continue, meaning more organizations will be absorbed, integrated or divested. That will fuel a significant increase in all types and sizes of IT migrations. Capital management and healthcare show no signs of an M&A slowdown, and this trend should continue across other industries as well, including the service provider arena, providing a windfall of IT sales opportunities and migration options.

  1. There Will Be New Winners And Losers

On the horizon are possible disruptions with Google’s G Suite, a popular alternative to Office 365, and the continued growth of Microsoft Azure, which we predict will continue to outpace Google and shrink the lead of Amazon Web Services (AWS).

G Suite has made significant inroads into the small- and midsized business sector, with heavy investments in AI and new cloud capabilities that will pay dividends in 2019. Many experts expect that Google will offer new services and features in the coming year to try and compete with Microsoft’s Office suite.

Azure is also poised to better service enterprise businesses, many that weren’t among the cloud’s early adopters. Microsoft claims that AWS is five times more expensive than Azure for Windows Server and SQL Server. They also tout significant pricing advantages for Azure through the use of existing licenses and are offering extended security updates. Finally, Microsoft boasts that more than 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies now use Azure. With this momentum, we predict even more transitions to Azure in the year ahead.

Lastly, let’s ponder another cloud evolutionary milestone. Over the last decade we’ve asked the questions “Why the cloud?” and “How do I get my data there?” In this new year specifically, and over the ensuing decade, MSPs will need to help companies optimize cloud costs and adopt better security and governance practices, leading to perhaps the best savings of all — time.

About The AuthorMark Kirstein, BitTitan

Mark Kirstein is the Vice President, Products at BitTitan. Prior to BitTitan, Mark served as the Senior Director of Product Management for the Mobile Enterprise Software division of Motorola Solutions, continuing in that capacity following its acquisition by Zebra Technologies in 2014. Mark has over two decades of experience overseeing product strategy, development, and go-to-market initiatives.