5 Reasons “Managed Cloud” Continues to Gain Momentum
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Cloud has already reached mainstream status. That’s indisputable…IDC forecasts that private cloud spending alone will reach $40.6 billion by 2019. In fact, many industries view the cloud as their route to success in a fast-evolving marketplace. The industries now seeing the fastest rate of adoption are manufacturing, retail, and media.
To expand on this, a recent Aberdeen Group study found that 46% of Best-in-Class organizations are currently using some form of the cloud – a figure destined to climb in the coming years. In short, moving to the cloud is no longer a revolutionary concept. How it’s done and maintained is the deeper question, and many businesses – large and small – are finding that dedicated solution providers make profound sense in the equation. They not only effectively manage IT infrastructure; these experts save time, money and resources, while enabling end customers to focus more exclusively on their primary core competencies. “Managed cloud” is where partners are making major inroads. They provide management and support to ensure smooth operations 24 x 7. From applications and infrastructure to business processes and other professional services, it’s an outsourced approach that deserves careful consideration. Here are five factors putting partners in the cloud driver’s seat:
Managed cloud environments are among the most affordable cloud options. The SAP partner managed cloud model, for instance, allows customers to pay a monthly cloud subscription fee instead of higher up-front costs of an on-premise solution. Aberdeen estimates that cloud solutions generate 30% lower TCO over a five-year period. Their research also reflects that Best-in-Class companies are 58% more likely than All Others to reduce the cost of configuration changes by working with a dedicated partner. Of course, this approach correlates directly to reductions in the number of in-house IT team members required to implement and sustain cloud solutions.
Aberdeen reports that 19% of Best-in-Class companies report a reduction in the complexity of their IT infrastructure since deploying the cloud, and the same 19% have improved the ease of application administration and management. Providers of SAP partner managed cloud aid this by bundling solutions and services with their own unique Intellectual Property (IP). Partners may tailor their IP and services to a specific industry or solution which in turn allows businesses to have their needs met more easily. The ability to leverage partner IP capabilities may reduce the need for businesses to seek out multiple vendors for separate services.
Aberdeen also found that Best-in-Class companies are 12% more likely than All Others to reduce the time needed to fulfill end-user requests when they incorporate outsourced support into their solution maintenance strategy. Consequently, when businesses rely on dedicated outsourced partners, their in-house personnel can devote more time to fulfilling end-customer needs. On top of this reality, cloud deployments are also typically less disruptive and can be completed in a fraction of the time associated with on-premise solutions.
Best-in-Class companies, Aberdeen found, are also 28% more likely than All Others to cite a need to drive higher productivity as a reason for outsourcing product development, implementation, and support to a dedicated partner. In addition, they often view resources in the cloud as more reliable than services delivered on-premise, especially as servers and hardware age. Managed cloud service providers’ experienced IT teams are also fully focused on resolving issues quickly and effectively. Their customers spend less time managing their own IT, allowing sharper focus on core business processes and becoming more competitive. For small businesses wanting to stretch resources, managed cloud represents a particularly viable option.
The Aberdeen study shows that Best-in-Class companies are 9% more likely than All Others to have reduced time in resolving incidents when outsourcing solution management to a dedicated partner that can respond to requests in real time. Such partners with dedicated IT teams ensure that customers always have someone to call if an issue arises with their systems and applications. Cloud providers likely can resolve the issue much faster than the customer’s own IT personnel, who may not have experience with the problem at hand.
Ultimately, the choice is up to business owners and leaders to decide what cloud direction is best for them, but these numbers certainly make a compelling case for solution providers. What’s your view of partners in this space? I’m confident that the channel will gain extraordinary momentum as cloud solutions continue to soar.