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Managed Application Service Providers emerge as Cloud Service Brokers

Mark Clayman, COO, TriCore Solutions | Jan. 30, 2014
Now that enterprises are beginning to deploy a broad range of cloud services to meet varying needs, it is becoming apparent there is a significant amount of work associated with using the services that was not previously understood. Cloud integration, customization and management have become complex, reducing some of the benefits of using cloud infrastructure. But more importantly, the complexity prevents organizations from exploring the opportunities to integrate various cloud services and associated features.

Now that enterprises are beginning to deploy a broad range of cloud services to meet varying needs, it is becoming apparent there is a significant amount of work associated with using the services that was not previously understood. Cloud integration, customization and management have become complex, reducing some of the benefits of using cloud infrastructure. But more importantly, the complexity prevents organizations from exploring the opportunities to integrate various cloud services and associated features. 

Cloud computing service providers specializing in infrastructure are not necessarily the best organizations to help enterprises simplify this complexity and extend the value of cloud services. Gartner recently recognized an emerging player in the cloud ecosystem and coined the term Cloud Services Broker (CSB). Gartner defines a CSB as a company or entity that adds value to one or more cloud services and identified three key roles that a broker plays in helping cloud providers deliver services to customers.

Managed application service providers (MSP) have been aggregating, integrating, customizing, deploying and managing infrastructure and application services for years without the benefits of a cloud-based infrastructure and the integration capabilities that are now available. MSPs are poised to become critical players in the cloud ecosystem.

MSPs are becoming cloud service brokers, leveraging their deep experience in managing enterprise applications, complex integrations and business workflows. Now that cloud computing technology has evolved, the infrastructure portion of the solution has become a utility. The hard part and where the managed application service provider's true expertise comes into play is with the aggregation, integration, deployment and management of multiple cloud-based applications to deliver a fully managed enterprise application solution.

Many initially believed that cloud computing would put managed service providers out of business. Nothing could be further from the truth. Here are 11 reasons why enterprises should consider using a managed application service provider for their next enterprise application deployment in the cloud.

* Technology Experts: MSPs are typically technology experts in the areas of cloud infrastructure, data warehousing, security, business continuity, as well as in core business applications such as collaboration, supply chain and analytics. They invest significant resources in keeping their staff current with the latest technology and application developments.

* Extensive Cloud Vendor Relationships: MSPs have developed their own cloud ecosystems with technology and other feature specific service providers. They excel at vendor management as well as packaging services from multiple cloud service vendors that collectively create new functionality. They will host customer applications in their own cloud or broker/negotiate cloud services from their customer's IaaS vendor of choice.

* Efficient Operations: MSPs offer the lowest Total Cost of Ownership when it comes to IT operations. As cloud brokers, infrastructure and operations become utility and the MSP will focus on their premium skill sets on business of cloud based applications with enhanced application functional support, integration, and data analytics.

 

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