The future of IT will consist of a mixture of on-premise digital assets, cloud-based applications, and servers at the edge of the network. MSPs need to position themselves to help clients plan and manage these hybrid environments.
Chances are you already have clients who use cloud-based services, such as Microsoft® Office 365® and Hosted Exchange™, while keeping some applications in-house. As Internet of Things (IoT) implementations get under way, many of the servers that will handle the IoT applications that continuously generate data and require real-time responses will reside in edge sites.
Edge computing keeps processing and storage close to where the action is, so the data doesn’t have to travel to a remote cloud data center, where it is likely to experience latency. Any lag in data transmission involving applications that handle, say, smart traffic, self-driving cars, or life-saving medical equipment is unacceptable; hence edge computing.
Here are three reasons MSPs need to prepare for a hybrid future:
Cloud is now a fact of life. Businesses run 79% of workloads in the cloud, according to recent research. When you zero in on SMBs, however, the number climbs to 83%, which means most of the companies that make up a typical MSP’s clientele have embraced the cloud.
MSPs that have yet to expand into the cloud are at a clear disadvantage. In some cases, clients probably have procured cloud services without your help—that’s revenue you are not getting. If you don’t have one, you should be developing a value-added cloud services strategy that can help your bottom line.
As businesses move assets to cloud infrastructures, in most cases, they are using multiple clouds. RightScale® has found that cloud users run workloads in an average of 1.8 public clouds and 2.3 private clouds.
The main reason this happens is different clouds handle some workloads better than others or deliver solutions that others do not. So it makes sense for businesses to have a multicloud approach to get the most value for their cloud investments.
Using multiple clouds, however, doesn’t deliver the full benefits of a hybrid cloud strategy. As pointed out in a recent webinar by Comcast® Business and 451 Research®, few businesses have figured out how to link together all their cloud and on-premise assets to achieve true interoperability. Without it, what you have isn’t so much a harmonious hybrid environment as a setting with multiple disconnected environments.
Without synergy, it’s hard to maximize value by improving operations and the customer experience. To achieve these goals, businesses need help from service providers. As such, MSPs have a significant opportunity to address a pain point for customers and help them extract maximum value from their IT investments.
With your help, businesses can start preparing for a future where hybrid IT is the norm—and fully enjoy the benefits of the hybrid model.
Pedro Pereira is a Massachusetts-based writer who has covered the IT channel for two decades. Recognized as one of the first journalists to cover managed services, Pedro continues to track, analyze and report on the IT channel and the growing MSP partner community.
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