By Javed Sikander, NetEnrich
Traditional managed service providers are witnessing a stark transformation in their bread-and-butter business of hosting and managing enterprise data centers. Every year, the percentage of IT infrastructure and apps in the public cloud grows. It’s only a matter of time before cloud-based infrastructure will surpass on-premises infrastructure in terms of both spending and footprint. MSPs which aren’t moving aggressively toward the cloud now will be in a tough position for survival in a couple of years.
Based on what we’ve witnessed by working with many of the top MSPs around the country, many of these companies are starting to move to the cloud. They are developing their own sandboxes for learning and becoming partners of the major public cloud providers. Yet the window is closing to move beyond this experimental position to developing a fully formed, holistic cloud strategy.
Competition in the cloud is coming from new sources all the time. The largest IT distributors and resellers are now offering cloud design, migration and management services. Mid-tier MSPs without deep pockets are especially at risk of viability if they can’t soon position themselves as full-service cloud partners.
Now here’s the good news: Established MSPs have the advantage of long-term client relationships and marketplace credibility to extend their extensive IT experience to the cloud. Since most large companies are maintaining a hybrid environment for the foreseeable future, the ability to blend traditional infrastructure and services with modern, cloud-based environments is extremely valuable. MSPs are perhaps best positioned to help customers create a unified IT environment as they move projects to the cloud.
The MSP Cloud Business Roadmap
There are many pathways to becoming a cloud partner, but the following tenets apply to any situation.
Cloud transformation is the MSP industry’s business to lose. They’ve got the customers, they’ve got the market, and they have earned CIO trust over many years. Fortunately, many MSPs are being proactive and taking steps to transition their business. It won’t be a surprise, however, if at least 10 percent of the top 500 MSPs shut down or get acquired in the next couple of years because they didn’t move fast enough.
MSP executives can start by having serious conversations with their customers today about their cloud journey. Don’t wait for customers to tell you what they need; be the partner to push them into the future now.
About The Author
Javed Sikander is CTO of NetEnrich.