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What Does the Next Generation of Managed Services Providers Look Like?

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The managed services space is rapidly changing.  The largest drivers of this change include the need to adapt to public cloud-based platforms, the use of big data systems, and the need to provide services that support compliance, such as SOX, HIPAA, and PCI.

The evolution of managed services providers continues to push change toward vertical focuses as well.  For example, many managed services providers will focus on healthcare, financial services, or retail, and thus will be able to better meet the specific needs of their clients because they know their space.

However, looking even further down the road, the list of products that a managed cloud service provider will likely have available as services continues to grow in some innovative and interesting directions, including:

The ability to manage public cloud services.  Most managed services providers will provide public cloud services as part of their services offering, if they have not done so already.  This means that the cloud services will be managed by the managed services providers, and their clients will be able to mix and match public cloud services with native services from the managed services provider, as well as use their own services.  The managed services provider will become the cloud services manager, and thus monitor operations, cost, SLA adherence, etc..

The ability to provide custom security services.  As security becomes more important to those who utilize managed services providers, the need to provide specialized security services will grow as well.  Most managed services providers offer basic security these days.  Moving forward, we’ll see specialized security services as part of the service offering, such as identity-based services.  Users can mix and match the right security services for the right purposes.  They will not have to host and manage those services themselves.

The ability to provide high performance computing services.  In some cases, regular commodity servers won’t cut it.  Those managed services provider customers will have to access high-end super computing services for special applications that require higher performing hardware.  These applications include intense graphics processing systems, or even big data analytics, where the response time is critical to the success of the business.  In some instances, these super computers will be cloud-delivered.  In others, they will come from the managed services providers themselves.

The ability to provide advanced high performance networking.  While the network is becoming software-defined, managed service providers will begin to offer networking services that are much higher performing than those found in most enterprises.  Customers will have the ability to transfer large amounts of data between systems hosted by the managed services provider, or between the enterprise and the public cloud providers.  This will provide true value to the managed services provider’s customer.

The future of managed service providers requires that they shift in the number and types of services they can offer.  This evolution is a foregone conclusion.

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