Cloud adoption by organizations large and small is on the rise. With it, the demand for reliable cloud connectivity is soaring. Default internet connectivity won’t do the job, as its notoriously unreliable and offers limited control. The big question is: who can organizations turn to for advice and off-the-shelf cloud connectivity?
How organizations progress into the cloud
Why does connectivity to the cloud become an issue for organizations? To understand this, we need to take a look at why organizations go to the cloud and how they do it. In many cases, a better time to market or time to value are key reasons to adopt cloud technology. Another scenario is that legacy IT needs to be replaced and cloud services such as infrastructure-as-a-service are better suited to meet business needs. After all, pay-as-you-go billing often has a better cost/benefit ratio than building your own infrastructure as most of its capacity won’t be used most of the time.
Whatever the reasons to go to the cloud are, proof of concepts are first ran from the cloud as a pilot or trial. It’s still an open question whether or not cloud is the way to go. Because of this, connectivity is procured in the fastest and cheapest way possible: through the internet.
Organizations that have experienced the benefits of moving some workloads to the cloud, usually start to move other workloads to the cloud as well. Or maybe they start to use new technologies to enhance their business model or services. Internet of things devices, artificial intelligence and machine learning generate or need large amounts of data and computing that is only available as a cloud service.
Public cloud service providers have a wide range of options available to benefit from these technologies. For example, Microsoft Azure has IoT Hub, Datafactory and Machine learning as ready to use cloud applications to help data engineers leverage data. Organizations that have advanced in their journey to the cloud have a need for different cloud services, ranging from hosting VM’s on an IaaS-platform to running SQL-databases in a PaaS-setting, not to mention the countless SaaS-applications that are available.
The challenges of cloud connectivity
What’s often overlooked as cloud usage grows, is that connectivity needs also become more challenging. Realtime data is used to correct and alter processes nearly instantly. It may seem easy and cheap to use the public internet to exchange all this data. But many organizations have learned the hard way that data streams become increasingly complex and difficult to handle. They lack the knowledge and expertise to make all this data flow efficiently, which can be a strain on their IT engineers. At some point organizations will therefore stop seeing costs for cloud connectivity as an issue. They understand that to fully benefit from these technologies and services, larger bandwidths and a better reliability than default internet connections can offer are needed.
Private connectivity to the cloud with flexible bandwidths becomes a key requirement for success. MSP’s can play a role in all stages of cloud maturity of organizations if they have the right products in their portfolio.
Why managed service providers should concern themselves with customer cloud connectivity
Managed service providers like to help customers and simply get things up and running for them. Need preconfigured and installed laptops? Sure. Hosted desktops? They will set you up in no time. Back-ups and firewalls? Not a problem. Private connectivity to the cloud? Not so much. This is a missed opportunity. Luckily, MSP’s can quite easily capitalize on this opportunity.
The worlds of MSP’s and networks/connectivity have traditionally been pretty separated. But this distinction is artificial: why should a MSP not help its customers with cloud connectivity? A private cloud connect is ideally suited to include in a managed services contract, resell or a referral based fee. In addition, the MSP can help manage the cloud connect, taking any responsibility (and concerns) out of the customers hands and really add value.
Getting into the cloud connectivity business
We understand that it can be difficult for MSP’s to develop activities outside their own domains. But precisely because a cloud connect is such a compact, straightforward product and the MSP is often the link between organizations and the cloud, it is a very logical step to facilitate a cloud connect for customers. All MSP’s need to do is find a third party that offers the flexibility, support and pricing MSP’s need to successfully and profitably offer a private cloud connect.
Would you like to know more about how you can add cloud connect to your portfolio or are you curious about the connectivity issues your customers may experience and how you can help them? Download the white paper ‘How to easily set up a Cloud Connect‘ or contact us directly.