CSPs, Enterprise, MSP

Managed Services for the Mega Clouds?


Are providers adapting to managed services for the mega clouds in 2016?

First we need to define what we mean by “enterprise cloud.” For this definition, the minimal criteria set includes: robust security, reliable performance, disaster recovery, growing set of services, constantly investing and a great and growing ecosystem of partners.

Based on this definition (along with the tremendous growth in public cloud), then all of the public cloud leaders are indeed “enterprise-class.” In short, the term "enterprise-class" is fundamentally a term targeted to allay the cloud fears of enterprise technology managers.

Providers are adapting to offer managed services for the mega clouds

Vendors like Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Rackspace,and Verizon focus their marketing on creating an "enterprise-class cloud" and don't plan to compete head-to-head with hyperscale public clouds like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform. (For more information, see the Forrester report “The Truth Behind Enterprise Class Cloud".)

As enterprises adopt and expand their use of hyperscale public clouds, the onus is on these value-added service providers to carve out niches for themselves as overlays, or some sort of additional value to the hyperscale public clouds.

For example, Datapipe was the first to create a managed AWS offering that gave its customers a consistent experience between Datapipe cloud services and AWS, including the same support and management up to the OS layer. Connectria, Logicworks, and Rackspace were intrigued by the model and quickly followed suit to capture more hybrid cloud opportunity. This market for managed cloud services will explode with new entrants and additional offerings from existing players in 2016.

Ramp up with managed services partners and “learn from them”

The reality for most enterprises embarking on their cloud journey is a shortage of time, resources, or more importantly, the appropriately skilled people to get to the cloud in a competitive timeframe.

Managed services partners will provide a great supplement to your team to assist you not only on your journey, additionally offer you and the team an opportunity to transfer skills to your own team to continue the journey.

The prediction that many providers adapt to offer managed services for the mega clouds is one of the eleven key developments for cloud is in the report titled: “Predictions 2016: The Cloud Accelerates,” along with guidance on what I&O Pros should do about them.

Robert Stroud (@RobertEStroud) is Forrester Research's principal analyst serving infrastructure and operations professionals. Read additional Forrester Research blogs here.