Nearly two-thirds of organizations that currently use cloud also leverage some level of managed services; with 71% of large enterprise IT pros revealing that managed services will be a better use of their money in the future, and a strong majority saying it allows their teams to focus on more strategic and productive IT projects, according to 451 Research.
The report examined the significance of managed services for cloud, driven by the increasing complexity of enterprise IT. The report’s findings highlight key areas of managed cloud services that should expect to see growth in the next 12 months, including managed security, migration and integration, cost and performance optimization, and monitoring.
“While enterprise companies are astutely aware of the breadth of cloud options available to them today, they are looking to cloud managed services partners to bridge their own in-house skills and resources gaps, and for access to their deep expertise across cloud assessment, planning, migration and domain experience,” says Melanie Posey, Research Vice President & General Manager, Voice of the Enterprise, 451 Research.
Joy Corso, CVP and CMO at Virtustream, adds, “Organizations face a constant challenge to maximize and modernize their IT investments to future-proof their businesses.”
Hybrid and multi-cloud are the new normal
The report notes that 57% of businesses are moving toward a hybrid IT environment, leveraging both on-premises systems and off-premises cloud/hosted resources in an integrated fashion. For public cloud, 72% indicate they are using more than one vendor, with 8% indicating they have more than three public cloud vendors today.
As hybrid/multi-cloud becomes the default enterprise IT architecture, achieving optimized workload migration, integration, and operations will typically require new skills sets. As such, the research findings indicated that enterprises of all sizes will look to utilize managed and professional services to fill gaps in their technology expertise and IT personnel.
The report also shows that backup is a first step into managed services, with 41% penetration among organizations using public cloud, noting that mature public cloud users (and digital transformation leaders) are more likely to already have managed services in place, particularly for operational monitoring and management of applications deployed in cloud.
Public cloud platform expertise remains an acute IT skills gap; the difficulty of attracting/retaining IT personnel in this space is also driving organizations toward managed services providers (MSPs) and professional services firms.
Modernizing IT for the digital era: Remove roadblocks with managed services
The report finds that most of the current roadblocks aren’t technical but rather operational; mostly mundane but necessary requirements, like meeting regulatory and security guidelines that are etched in process and paperwork.
Cloud migrations introduce new challenges, including different approaches to capacity planning, and new, more diverse cost/consumption scenarios.
Most enterprises cited security as the primary challenge to cloud transformation and adoption, with 60% of respondents saying that data protection and security were the most important workload-related IT challenges to address, followed by governance and compliance management as the next biggest challenge at 37%.
Again, this can be boiled down to a lack of skills and human resources in-house, a need to transform business process as much if not more than IT operations. Managed services providers can help organizations fill these gaps by blending public clouds and hosted private cloud platforms with existing IT operations.