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How Can Managed Service Providers Keep Pace with the Cloud Market?

Posted by Louise Merifield on 04-May-2015 10:13:00

This blog looks the position of Managed Service Providers (MSPs) in the technology market and how service providers can increase margins.

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The managed services sector represents the fastest growing component of the IT market, with a predicted $193.34 billion up for grabs by 2019. The numbers boggle the mind. Many MSPs, however, are struggling to position themselves to take their share of that pot.

How can Managed Service Providers keep pace with the cloud market and is there anything they can do to improve their bottom line?

What do buyers look for in an MSP?

First of all, perhaps we should look at what buyers look for in a Managed Services Provider. The following requirements must be high on the list:

  • fast service and response time
  • security testing and monitoring
  • remote managing and monitoring
  • advice on maximising IT efficiency
  • capabilities the organisation itself doesn't have

And this only scratches the surface of what customers are expecting to see in the base offering of service providers in this age of service on demand.

What do MSPs look for in their business model?

Their objectives are no different than any other sector:

  • steadily increasing sales
  • operational efficiency
  • larger customer base

How can MSPs achieve all of this at the same time?

Increasing the number of personnel is one option, but this will only decrease margins, not the way any business wants to go. A more sensible option is investigate the increasing offering of software tools which capture and manage application knowledge, and automate the deployment and termination of applications. Such tools should provide security testing and monitoring as well as remote management, ticking of some of the demands on the list above. Automated tooling like this opens up huge possibilities for MSPs, giving them chance to deploy their precious developers elsewhere, leading to increasing customer satisfaction. And the all important increasing margins.

There are several such offerings on the market, such as IBM's UrbanCode Deploy and Ansible to name but a couple.  Once you have decided to go down this route, the difficulty can be how to choose between them. Service providers should be careful to select a tool which gives them access to several clouds and not tie them in to the provider's favourite cloud. 

The SixSq team has been working all out to make SlipStream a deployment automation platform which offers all of the above, giving users cloud neutrality and automation, plus much more.

Interested in knowing more about how automation can help MSPs ?

If you would like to find out more about how automation can help MSPs improve their share of the cloud service market, have a look at our eGuide for MSPs or get in touch with the SixSq team.

 

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Topics: Cloud for Business