Most of the managed services providers are technologically and personally prepared for the challenges of the new, hybrid IT world. They reach their limit if the customer does not pursue a clear digital strategy. Whether in your own company or the cloud: IT landscapes are becoming more complex. This is an important reason why companies obtain tasks such as IT security, maintenance of applications or the monitoring of IT infrastructures as clearly defined services from service providers. This is exactly what lies behind Managed Services: Service providers provide recurring, partially standardized IT services on behalf of the customers. Service level agreements (SLAs) are formulated in service contracts that specify the type, scope and quality of the services. But what worked well for years is now becoming more difficult with the requirements of cloud migration. The challenges are – not only, but also – in the technological area.
For some companies, migration to the cloud is currently still failing quite trivially because of a broadband gap at the company location. However, a discussion led by COMPUTERWOCHE with various managed services providers showed that there is an even bigger and more fundamental problem: Many companies do not know where they are going, they lack a clear digital strategy. It is not uncommon for those responsible to believe that they have answered all questions with a vaguely worded “cloud-first approach”, but it often remains unclear what they want to achieve. They lack the vision of how their business should look in a few years. As a result, such companies do not have a detailed overview of the processes that would have to be touched to advance the digital transformation.
The managed services providers are therefore faced with the task of advising their customers more intensively than was previously necessary. This also involves the question of which cloud approach is the right one. There is still a lot of uncertainty about which data and applications can be left to the big hyperscalers. The large corporations continue to have reservations here. There are unanswered security questions, but also different perspectives on how business and IT should position themselves to use cloud offers and solutions efficiently, end-to-end.
If the provision of a virtual server on-premises sometimes took several weeks, this can be achieved in the cloud within a few hours. This high availability sounds like a clear advantage, but in fact, it completely messes up the classic corporate and IT processes because business is often not yet ready for it.
Start-ups are cloud-native and have a different aspiration than an established medium-sized or enterprise company that still has classic and/or heterogeneous IT landscapes. The difficult step for many companies is to give their core competencies outside. And they cannot keep up with the speed because they have to do preparatory work such as obtaining complex security releases. It is important to form excellence – not just devops, but all the organizational units involved at one table. Due to the shortage of skilled workers and the typically high utilization of in-house IT, this core competency is often not available.