As enterprises move from on-prem to hybrid multi-cloud infrastructure, they are looking to managed and cloud service providers to help them address security, data protection, disaster recovery, and other important services that hyperscalers ignore.
Let’s step back and provide some context.
The big public cloud providers struggle to offer anything other than cost-efficient, scalable cloud infrastructure. While this is a strong foundational element for businesses to transform, it’s not enough.
Service providers are uniquely positioned to understand the nuanced business needs of their clients. They support clients by being responsive, available, and supplying experienced professionals and expertise to address particular business needs.
These enterprise partners help solve individual business problems as opposed to just providing one solution that supposedly fits all, and different channel partners provide different services.
Be wary of service providers claiming to be all things to all people.
Know the business problems you want to address and find a service provider with a history of solving those problems.
Build an ecosystem of service providers you can work with to address different needs.
I’ll give you an example. We tend not to work with customers looking for help with their desktops or phones. We specialize in the data center. If you ask us to start dispatching people to come out and work on your desktops, we’re not a good fit. We suggest prospective clients work with another service provider who specializes in on-site service calls.
What Is an Example of Value-Added Cloud Services for the Enterprise?
We began going beyond co-location services and offering value-added cloud services with our client, the State of California, and technology partners JetStream Software and Cloudian, in 2018 when we provided storage-as-a-service (STaaS).
Both technology partners stepped up to help us meet our client’s needs. For example, in response to market conditions, they pivoted when VMware wanted to start moving workloads to Microsoft Azure. We needed to lean forward and step up our game around writing to blob storage, and they helped us make this happen.
They have a tremendous team that’s methodical about building timely solutions to address market changing needs, such as their recent news of JetStream DR on Cloudian, a cloud-native DR offering utilizing object storage.
This now allows us to provide enterprise-grade DRaaS economically to customers while giving us the opportunity to address the threat of hyperscale cloud providers by offering continuous cloud data protection and disaster recovery services that the State of California requires.
How Business Is Evolving
Today, enterprises like the State of California are more focused on their business than on the technology required to run their business. A CIO doesn’t want to deal with support or firewall issues every day. They want to work with a partner that can manage the day-to-day stuff so they can focus on more strategic issues that will drive business value.
We do a lot of work with state and local governments. More and more government clients are struggling with the recruitment of technology professionals. They are unable to get the talent needed to manage their technology, let alone replace the people who are retiring. We are able to provide capabilities and enable clients to rationalize their technology operations. Everything-as-a-service is fast becoming a reality for a lot of enterprises.
Most government IT organizations don’t operate on a 24/7/365 schedule. The state has two main data centers in Northern California. We manage the entire storage solution, end to end, so they don’t have to worry about it.
They pay a monthly fee just like a cell phone bill or utility, and we monitor, manage and maintain their storage footprint in the data centers 24/7. We have the same regulatory compliance requirements they have, and they are afforded the ability to focus on their business and not worry about storage.
Businesses today want to focus on R&D and not so much the back-end technology. They want to be able to call a trusted professional that can take care of any issues or concerns instantly.
We’ll continue to see more demand for trusted experts on infrastructure. That shift is already occurring throughout the enterprise. Several years ago, everyone wanted to be 100% on the cloud by 2020. But hardware manufacturers responded to the mass migration to the cloud by getting their costs down and innovating to develop true hybrid solutions.
90% of solutions today are a hybrid multi-cloud. It’s the smartest and most economical solution. As such, service providers become a trusted resource for objective information about data classification, where data should live, and the optimal hybrid multi-cloud composition for a particular business.
Service providers are able to provide objective consulting services to help clients identify the right hybrid multi-cloud infrastructure for business and then help them acquire, set up, manage and maintain it.