Analyst Q&A: Managed Services ‘Came of Age’ in 2018

Cloud has finally grown up.

That’s the observation of Alex Hart, senior vice president of strategic services for The 2112 Group. He’ll join a panel of analysts next week at Channel Partners Evolution to reveal their findings on the technology and go-to-market strategies partners are using.

Channel Partners: This panel looks forward to 2019, but when 2018’s all said and done, what do you think will be the defining characteristics and trends of the year?

Alex Hart: 2018 was the year cloud finally grew up and managed services came of age. Cloud environments are maturing and, increasingly, we’re seeing customers adopt cloud platforms for their more complex, enterprise-critical applications. Per a 2018 IDG cloud study, 73 percent of surveyed organizations have either at least one application or a part of their enterprise infrastructure in a cloud, and 17 percent plan on doing so in 2019. Customers are now deciding how, not if, they plan on moving workloads off-premises — whether to hybrid, single, or multicloud environments. We are also seeing an increased adoption of public cloud platforms as acceptable for business-critical workloads. Average cloud budgets are up 36 percent year over year, and although security is a primary concern, cloud providers have done a good job of minimizing risk perceptions.

This maturing adoption of cloud as an integral piece of the IT production infrastructure (not just for testing and/or development) has also given rise to an increased comfort level among both large and small customers in outsourcing key service functions to MSPs. Security, disaster recovery and telephony/collaboration are among the areas with strong customer adoption, especially in the SMB and midmarket segments. SMBs and midmarket customers typically don’t have the specialized resources to dedicate to robust cyber or DR practices. Those are also the businesses most vulnerable to the negative impact of incidents should they occur. MSPs with multiple services in their portfolios are making themselves more relevant to their client base[s] and ensuring a continued seat at the table. ...

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