MSPs: are you ready for the hybrid cloud of the future?

The future of the cloud is hybrid … and that is good news for MSPs that have their roots in established private cloud ecosystems such as VMware’s.

Don’t just take our word for it. Michelle Bailey, global VP, GM and research fellow for data centre and cloud at market research firm IDC, spelled it out at the IGEL Disrupt conference in February.

In short, multi-cloud implementations currently account for 64 per cent of cloud adoptions, single-cloud adoptions just 28 per cent and hybrid cloud adoptions, seven per cent.

But … 81 per cent of the organizations surveyed by IDC reported that they had repatriated workloads from public clouds to on-premises private cloud, hosted private cloud, or on-premises non-cloud infrastructures. Bailey forecast this figure will rise to 85 per cent in 2019. In addition, respondents to IDC said about 50 per cent of their public cloud applications will move to private cloud or on-premises infrastructures over the next two years.

The reasons for this repatriation trend should come as little surprise. We’ve talked before on this blog about the challenges enterprises face with migrating to one or more public clouds. There are security and performance issues. Overages and ad-hoc add-ons frequently blow IT budgets because many enterprises have jumped into the public cloud without an effective management program in place. One example is the common practice of using a VPN to shift workflows between different cloud services, which results in unexpected traffic charges.

What this means is that the cloud market continues to shake itself out. Enterprises large and small are experimenting, often painfully so, to find the right combination of on-premise private and public cloud services that will best serve their needs and their budgets while delivering a satisfactory degree of security and resilience.

Now more than ever, enterprises need partners that are domain experts they can trust, with the multidisciplinary expertise to help them navigate these murky waters with confidence.

Another data point from IDC proves the point – nearly 70 per cent of multi-cloud environments are either built by or managed by service providers, while only 32 per cent are self-built and self-managed.

As an MSP that began life in the VMware ecosystem, the good news is that the business that brought you this far will continue. On the other hand, you must be prepared to diversify.

Enterprises are looking for MSPs that can provide them with the ease and convenience of a one-stop shop for all their needs – SaaS and hosted applications, managed security services (including identity and access management), and backup and recovery.

Is your current business model capable of accommodating and delivering all this? Can it quickly and efficiently provide your clients with self-serve capability and real-time insight into their service usage? Does it enable automated service provisioning to streamline configuration and orchestration by your team, and allow your finance department to easily pull comprehensive billing reports at month end?

If not, it’s time for us to talk.

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