Cloud computing is everywhere, and the public cloud is leading the charge. Businesses can use the public cloud for applications or storage in a shared, accessible network on either a free or pay-per-usage basis. That’s the long way of saying something simple—that the public cloud is the happy home of applications like Google Drive, Dropbox and Salesforce. Many more examples are out there, and odds are most businesses have integrated at least one public cloud entity into their IT strategies. Just how prevalent is public cloud usage in business, though, and what does that mean for MSPs?
A Growing Contender
The public cloud has long provided value to companies, and significant growth is forthcoming—such a rise is anticipated, in fact, that IDC Research forecasts public IT cloud spending could reach $127 billion by 2018. Most of this spending will happen in the software as a service (SaaS) sector, because the cloud services market as a whole is in the middle of an innovation stage. Most customers today want to see progress in applications, hence the SaaS spending. Cloud storage service and platform as a service (PaaS) growths trail, but have no fear, they are gaining momentum and I don’t see that momentum ever stalling.
Think about this, too: Public cloud usage is popular for mega corporations, but it’s becoming increasingly relevant to smaller companies and entrepreneurs as well. This is in part because the cloud’s accessibility can offer an attractive bang for the sometimes-stretched small business buck.
Whether relying on the public cloud alone, or using it as part of a larger hybrid cloud strategy, there’s no doubt that overall cloud computing growth is imminent, and unstoppable.
An Opportunity for MSPs
The public cloud gives businesses many exciting, user-friendly applications and storage solutions with a few clicks. Plus, it can improve company efficiency and significantly reduce IT costs. With this vast accessibility and easy-to-swallow price, the public cloud must rule out the need for MSPs, right? Wrong. Quite the contrary, actually, and here’s why:
If a business utilizes public cloud tools—especially multiple cloud tools as part of a larger network—the need for professionals to manage resources and analyze output does not go away. Actually, it can grow.
Hybrid cloud options.
Some companies may want blended options, to use the public cloud for some applications alongside their own private infrastructure. This computing collaboration, known as a hybrid cloud model, can become intricate quickly. MSPs are often needed in these instances to help manage and oversee the process.
Specialized security expertise.
MSPs provide increased security and regulation expertise in specialized markets, essential especially to businesses handling highly sensitive data, such as the financial and healthcare industries. These companies may have questions about what data can or cannot enter the public cloud, and MSPs are trusted to have those answers.
Ok, now we’ve established MSPs are still necessary—maybe even more so—with the rise in public cloud usage. Here’s how MSPs can capitalize from this refreshed relevancy:
Improved value proposition.
All those cloud tools are going to need backing up. MSPs can improve their value proposition to clients by creating backup systems that take the whole operation into consideration, not just the task at hand. When one public cloud application fails, MSPs can redirect resources to help soften that blow.
Cloud data extraction.
MSPs can present public cloud data extraction as a service, adding a unique component to their data analytics offerings.
360 degree monitoring.
Phone systems, collaboration suites, and point of sale systems are being utilized more and more in public cloud environments. MSPs provide value here because they can actively manage, monitor and maintain these business tools safely and in a way that does not disrupt a company’s day-to-day operations.
It’s true—most companies have either adopted some public cloud usage or will be doing so shortly. This trend does not spell the end of MSPs, though. Instead, this growth presents an opportunity for MSPs to reinvigorate their value propositions to customers and grow right alongside them.
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Daniel Newman is the Principal Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. From Big Data to IoT to Cloud Computing, Newman makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology projects, which leads to his ideas regularly being cited in CIO.Com, CIO Review and hundreds of other sites across the world. A 5x Best Selling Author including his most recent “Building Dragons: Digital Transformation in the Experience Economy,” Daniel is also a Forbes, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post Contributor. MBA and Graduate Adjunct Professor, Daniel Newman is a Chicago Native and his speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.