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Managed Cloud Services – The Road to Faster IT Modernization and Better Efficiency

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Cloud computing has drastically changed how businesses operate, giving us countless opportunities. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the leveraging of cloud services. Because of this, cloud management solutions and cloud service providers are more important and needed than ever.

The signs are clear. The cloud computing market is expected to reach $947 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 16.3%. According to Gartner, 85% of enterprises will have a cloud-first strategy by 2025. It underlines the need for and rise of cloud service providers and the cloud solutions they provide.

But as a customer moves to the cloud, they may face problems that keep them from reaching their business goals. They may include a lack of in-house cloud operation skills, security and privacy concerns, managing day-to-day cloud infrastructure operations, absence of cost management features, etc. 

When this happens, businesses need extra help to run their operations and make work easier at every step. Having managed cloud services available and using them can help business operations run more smoothly and efficiently.

Managed Cloud Services: What Do They Include?

Enterprises can use managed cloud services to keep their cloud infrastructure and applications running smoothly. The services include communications, security, maintenance, migration, etc. 

With these cloud security managed services, organizations can save money and focus on making more money and running their business more efficiently in other areas. Over 95% of all new digital workloads will be deployed entirely on cloud-native platforms in three years, which is a 30% jump from 2021. 

Role of Managed Cloud Service Providers (MCSPs)

A managed cloud services provider, or MCSP, is a trusted third-party cloud solutions provider that offers cloud services to businesses in need of such assistance. They usually offer singular services or packages of several services, enabling organizations to benefit from all-around support from one place.

When looking for an MCSP, it’s important to remember that they must understand and follow the latest rules. Even the smallest businesses have to make sure they are following the rules, and every company has to protect the personal information of its customers and employees. 

In fact, public companies have to make sure that the cloud service providers they use also meet regulatory compliance requirements. MCSPs who can manage cloud infrastructure must put in place the right processes and procedures to handle personal and security information. 

Also, the service providers should be able to understand the complexity of security-related concerns in a cloud environment, which isn’t as simple as a physical data center. 

A fully managed security service includes firewalls and perimeter security, intrusion detection and prevention, data encryption during rest and transition, antivirus and DDOS protection, and privileged user management. 

So, businesses need to have a security operation center (SOC) that can stop, find, and lessen the effects of intrusions. The MCSPs can help take over the shared responsibility model where operating systems are concerned.   

As for business continuity, MCSPs should ensure they have a disaster recovery plan. All the backup and recovery mechanisms should already have been tested beforehand. MCSPs should also ensure highly available environments for applications hosted in the cloud. 

It includes providing a hardened, proven cloud architecture; preventing single points of failure; providing regular monitoring and incident response; stimulating disasters and test failover service; and managing multi-data center backup service. 

Did You Know? 

The global end-user spending on public cloud services is projected to grow by 20.4% by the end of this year and reach a market value of $494.7 billion. This market value is likely to top $600 billion in 2023. 

4 Types of Managed Cloud Services

“Managed cloud services” is a broad term. It includes four categories that businesses can choose from based on their needs. Over 70% of organizations globally that use cloud services today plan to increase their spending in the future. 

Every business is different; hence, there is no single approach to a specific issue. Therefore, organizations can choose services that they feel will benefit them in the long run. Since it is possible to select packages of such services from providers, here is a closer look at the four types of managed cloud services.

  1. Data Analytics
    The managed cloud service provider is responsible for analyzing data networks and monitoring all processing operations within them. Data analytics can also help with sales, revenue, and other essential areas. 
  2. Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS)
    MCSPs position themselves as the back-end host for an organization’s virtual and cloud infrastructure services. They control the servers and can manage operating systems over a cloud network. It is a helpful service when enterprises need to collect sensitive application data or other information securely. 
  3. Managed Communications
    Communication services involve the management of unified spaces such as video calls, emails, text messages, and chats. These are all brought under a singular service, making it easier for businesses to use them from one point of access. MCSPs provide these services under packages, and one can avail of them based on their needs to enhance the communication channels within the organization. 
  4. Security as a Service (SaaS)
    MCSPs provide security solutions such as malware protection, patches, log monitoring, security reporting, and other service packages that can help businesses drastically improve their network security. Of all the security breaches that take place, cloud providers are not responsible for about 88% of them. Taking up security-managed cloud services is beneficial as it allows organizations to conduct their operations risk-free, especially when sensitive data is involved. 

Did You Know? 

In 2021, North America had the largest market share in cloud computing, capturing over 40%. The managed services market in the US is projected to witness a CAGR of 7.2% between now and 2032 due to the significant contribution of top firms such as IBM, Accenture, and Cognizant. 

The Process of Adopting Managed Cloud Services

When taking up any new cloud service, it is necessary to take a few steps to allow organizations to make the most of these solutions and reap the maximum benefits available. Here is a four-step process for successfully adopting managed cloud services.

  1. Step 1 – Assessment
    At this stage, organizations need to carefully look at the areas where they need help from outsiders and pick out specific problems. It will help narrow down the types of services they need to take on and allocate budgets to make it possible. 
  2. Step 2 – Planning
    After the assessment, it is necessary to have a plan outlining the points at which managed cloud services will be implemented and how. Only about 21% of SMEs have disaster management plans in place, indicating the need for planning and assistance. Planning makes it easier for managed cloud service providers to set up these services in the best way for an organization.
  3. Step 3 – Adoption
    The next step is to let managed cloud service providers take over the areas that have been set aside for their managed services. It could be for communication, security, or any other essential area. The services will be taken up based on business needs and the solutions they want to achieve. For the service to be used well, infrastructure needs to be set up, servers need to be set up, storage systems need to be set up, and so on.
  4. Step 4 – Optimization
    After the required managed services have been adopted and moved, they need to be optimized to meet business needs. It involves scaling the infrastructure, moving software, setting up applications, and other tasks that help successfully deploy cloud services and give businesses the solutions they need. 

Did You Know? 

Cloud managed services are likely to drastically bring down IT costs by 25–45%, saving businesses significant funds that they can use to push growth. 

Pros and Cons of MCSPs

Advantages of managed cloud services:

Managed cloud services can help businesses grow by giving them effective ways to solve problems and meet different needs. Here’s a look at some advantages enterprises can reap by adopting managed cloud services. 

  1. High-Quality Tech
    When taking up managed cloud services, organizations will reap the benefits of high-quality technology from the provider’s end. With high quality, there will be excellent reliability as well, leading to quicker solutions and more effective business operations. 
  2. Professional Solutions 
    MCSPs are experienced professionals who are well-versed in how such services can help various organizations meet their needs. They don’t just offer the best equipment for cloud management but also advise businesses on the best services that will give them maximum benefits immediately as well as in the long run. 
  3. Cost-effective for Large Enterprises
    By taking up managed cloud services, businesses can save on high costs that would otherwise be incurred by trying to find solutions. With packages from these service providers, organizations can save on these external costs and focus on utilizing them for improving operations. 
  1. Flexible Scaling 
    Depending on business needs or the growth rate, it becomes necessary to scale systems over time to fit growing requirements. With managed cloud services, systems can be scaled up or down quickly to meet different needs and used in the right way to fit business operations. It avoids downtime, which is known to cost businesses $5,600 per minute, and other interruptions and allows all data processes to run continuously. 

Disadvantages of managed cloud services:

Just as there are advantages, a few disadvantages must be kept in mind when adopting managed cloud services. These are as follows:

  1. No Physical Presence 
    Most MCSPs may not be close to the business that wants to use their services. If any issue arises, phone calls or online communication will be the only possible method to reach out to them. And it may not be swift all the time due to different time zones, network issues, and other communication barriers. 
  2. Limited Scope 
    MCSPs may not always have the application support that you need. They may have a range of services available, but it’s possible that none match the specific need you are looking for, thus limiting the scope of cloud solutions a business can avail. 
  3. Costly for SMEs
    Even though these services may be cost-effective for big businesses, they are usually very expensive for small businesses. The price of advanced technology, service packages, etc., may not fit their budgets, thus hindering them from receiving the cloud solutions they need.

Time to Speed Up IT Modernization with Managed Cloud Services

When businesses use managed cloud services, they have more significant ways to run their operations. These cloud solutions give enterprises the chance to streamline various areas and focus on improving other points that call for more attention. 

Cloud availability means that these services are available globally, thereby increasing the accessibility for businesses to take advantage of them. 

With a thorough understanding of how managed cloud services can impact a growing business, STL aims to offer businesses high-quality and efficient cloud solutions. With over 25 years of experience, STL has expert skills, strategies, and solutions that help enterprises make the most of managed cloud services. 
Connect with STL today to learn more about the solutions it offers.

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