19 January 2021
Grant Morgan, Executive Head of Managed Services, Synthesis Software Technologies
With the global cloud managed services market expected to reach more than $115 billion by the end of 2026, it is clear that the need to reduce operating and infrastructure costs associated to business processes will play a significant strategic role for the foreseeable future. This is likely to usher in the age of next-generation cloud native managed services.
How businesses approach the cloud
Over time, services providers have approached the cloud in two distinct ways. On the one side, you have software development firms providing services and assisting clients to capitalise on cloud opportunities. On the other, there are traditional hardware vendors who relied on physical infrastructure roll outs for years but have now been forced to embrace the cloud to remain competitive.
The former understands the cloud and its benefits much better as it enables them to get solutions to market faster. For example, artificial intelligence and machine learning are empowering them with more effective ways of developing software with better reliability that can be iterated as required. Those companies looking to migrate to the cloud are looking for services providers that can provide them with such an agile approach. After all, modernising applications have proven to be a more effective strategy than simply ‘lifting and shifting’ them. This also makes for a better managed services provider (MSP) who understands how operations have evolved to DevOps and are able to apply global best practices to migrations and new applications development.
Therefore, modern MSPs and cloud providers coming from a software background understand this new way of working and innovating around a DevOps culture to release code more frequently better than those coming from hardware backgrounds. In effect, how an MSP leverages the cloud for next-generation services will largely depend on whether it has roots in software or hardware services.
The benefits of going cloud-native
Next-generation cloud-native MSPs can use this DevOps ‘style’ to not only maintain infrastructure but speed up how quickly enterprise clients can release new code to market. They are able to integrate fully into the development process and help customers build solutions that are self-healing, leverage Infrastructure as Code (IoC) to create high degrees of repeatability through the patterns found in the cloud, and deploy new builds in the likes of Amazon Web Services (AWS) immediately in a reusable and repeatable manner.
So, while a traditional MSP focused on things such as hardware-based solutions, centralising operations, device-based service level agreements (SLAs), and static monitoring, next-generation cloud native MSPs flip this on its head. For them, it is all about speed, agility, and iterating faster. They are committed to cloud and software-based solutions, distributed operations and resources, application-based SLAs, and dynamic monitoring that better detects anomalies and applies machine learning principles to the process.
Why shift to the next-generation?
The industries most benefiting from this next-generation approach are financial and health services providers. And yet, others are clamouring to start running pilot projects and establishing centres of excellence around this ‘new’ way of working in the cloud.
The kind of agility offered through the next-generation cloud-native environment cannot be delivered through off the shelf solutions. Instead, it is about finding a trusted local services provider with a DevOps background that can engage with the company and more effectively empower it to iterate for the future. For instance, Synthesis has an unmatched depth of skills in AWS with more local engineers certified than any other MSP in the country. It is about finding innovative ways to support customers so they can become agile in a next-generation cloud-driven system.
Case study – our work with the Vitality Group
The work Synthesis has done with Vitality Group is a case in point. They have been working with us as a partner as they are expanding the Vitality global product offerings. Our MSP team ensures their critical systems keep running. And then there is some amazing work the team is doing with AFGRI that has seen the development and management of systems to help the agricultural services company do innovative things for farmers to keep food production flowing in the country.
Of course, there will always be a debate on whether to insource or outsource this next-generation MSP approach. But not many companies have the skills in-house to manage the complexities of a cloud environment that encompass everything from data migration to optimal system configuration. A trusted MSP provides the scalability and skill levels required to do so in an agile manner. And when it comes to cybersecurity, the next-generation of MSPs focus on securing by design while conducting continuous compliance, auditing, checking, and alerting on any deviations of best practice design.
Ultimately, the cloud journey of the future will be reliant on next-generation MSPs to assist organisations unlock the true power of going online. Leveraging the best in innovative technologies while addressing strategic business objectives will be a critical driver for growth.
Contact us if you’re looking for a cloud-native partner to help bring your business to the next generation.