Moving to the cloud while capitalizing on its innovative capabilities is a complex process for enterprises. Issues that firms face include developing a detailed road map with the architecture needed for the right organizational models and change management processes; implementing effective migration and modernization processes to create agile capabilities and ensure continuous innovation; enabling collaboration across stakeholders from IT to LOB including the CXOs; and ensuring optimal performance and resiliency. Ultimately, once enterprises move to the cloud, they must be able to meet critical business objectives that align with industry requirements.
Managed service providers: Meeting enterprise cloud needs with strategic investments
Enterprises are looking for managed service providers (MSPs) to create cloud capabilities that enable continuous innovation. That’s a key finding from the more than two dozen interviews IDC conducted with executives who utilize managed cloud services. There is a need for MSPs to enable faster deployment times utilizing new processes (e.g., DevOps, CI/CD, SRE) that incorporate innovative capabilities supported by centers of excellence (CoEs)and workshops. MSPs also need to provide access to any cloud operating model (private, public, hybrid), cloud platform (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS), and cloud service provider. Collectively these capabilities must ensure agility and help achieve strategic business and IT objectives based on industry requirements.
To support these needs, MSPs have invested in building extensive portfolios of cloud services. Examples include Deloitte, PWC, Capgemini, IBM, and Wipro, among others. These portfolios incorporate a wide range of talent, technologies, and partnerships that can help orchestrate and simplify the complexities of moving to the cloud as well as manage all cloud resources to deliver continuous innovation, optimize performance, and achieve desired business outcomes. Such portfolios may include elements such as:
- Advisory services. By utilizing advisory services based on domain expertise, MSPs can help enterprises create the right road map for moving to and using cloud capabilities while implementing change management processes designed to align with a firm's business strategy.
- Transformation. MSPs are helping enterprise IT transform to cloud capabilities that enable continuous innovation. These capabilities involve use of development processes (e.g., continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD), scrum) and DevOps to support multiple pathways to the cloud (e.g., re-platforming, refactoring, new code development). They are supported by CoEs ( focused on critical technologies (e.g., security, IoT, cognitive/AI) and cloud service providers.
- Critical IP and automation. To help create agile environments, MSPs are utilizing innovative technologies (e.g., containers, software-defined infrastructure, virtualization) and advanced automation (e.g., cognitive/machine learning, no code/low code).
- Partner ecosystems. MSPs can provide enterprises with access to a full range of cloud operating models (private, public, hybrid) and cloud platforms (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) via extensive ecosystems of partnerships with cloud service providers) and technology vendors (e.g., OEMs and ISVs). These partners help provision the right cloud capabilities and technologies (e.g., IoT, containers, VMs, cognitive) to support expected business outcomes.
- Governance. To ensure control of all IT and cloud resources, MSPs are investing in robust governance structures that include use of multicloud management platform capabilities (a.k.a. a single pane of glass) to support any cloud service provider, achieve effective financial management, optimize asset utilization, meet industry compliance, and ensure quality of service.
Enterprise objectives in utilizing managed cloud services
As Figure 1 highlights, IDC research shows that enterprises utilize managed cloud services to enable greater agility from IT, increase revenues by creating new revenue-generating products and services, and closely link IT to business performance. Firms measure success in using these services through key metrics such as reducing costs, improving employee productivity and customer relationships, and driving product innovation and market thought leadership.