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When it comes to cloud it is horses for courses: 5 ways to pick a winner


24 April 2017:
Christian Curtis, Director, Next Generation Technologies and Strategies, Tech Data

Christian Curtis

Director,
Next Generation
Technologies and Strategies
Tech Data

Christian Curtis, next generation director, Technology Solutions UK, takes a look at the role of the channel when it comes to multi-cloud  

Technology Solutions recently attended Cloud Expo, Europe’s biggest multi-cloud event.  In the show guide the event director explained how he had spent time talking to CIOs, CTOs and other tech leaders to understand what, in his words, was happening “on planet cloud”.  His belief is that there is a major trend occurring, in that organisations, again in his words, “were not backing a one horse cloud race.  Of course, many were running AWS, Google and Microsoft clouds, but the majority were not putting all their eggs in one basket – they were running multiple cloud infrastructure platforms, applications and their own private and hybrid clouds. It is clear we have passed the single cloud stage, we are in a world of multi-cloud and effectively managing those different clouds is now the norm.”

These views are substantiated by what we are being told by partners and their customers.  The task of managing multi-cloud services is fine for those organisations with in-house skills to do so, however, for many this is not the case, and they look to a business partner to plug the gap.  To further support this theory, according to the RightScale 2017 State of the Cloud Report1, the lack of resources/expertise remains the number one cloud challenge in 2017 with 25% of respondents citing it as a major concern. 

In addition, while organisations are not adopting the one size fits all approach, the move from legacy technology to a wider range of platforms is further disrupting legacy IT markets.  Opportunities for the channel are being created in terms of converged and hyper-converged infrastructure, security, mobility, big data, data analytics and multi-cloud services. So it’s time to start studying the form to pick a winner.

Here are five ways the channel can benefit from the trend towards multi-cloud environments:

  1. Sizing and contract advice – for organisations with a digital transformation strategy or even a more simple cloud adoption approach, selecting the right cloud infrastructure can be a challenge.  Typically, the mistake is to over allocate resources and therefore end-up paying more than is necessary.  Mixing on-premise and public cloud platforms can cause further confusion when it comes to comparing cost.  Good advice at the outset is essential, and that is where channel partners supported by Technology Solutions can make a difference.

  2. Monitoring, management and compliance - as organisations look to store more sensitive data on-premise or in private cloud environments as a result of new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) coming into force in May 2018, opportunities for multi-cloud implementations are in demand.  However, alongside more data storage options comes more complexity and a requirement for help with monitoring, management and ensuring compliance.  This is a perfect opportunity for channel partners with the right compliance skills to help customers keep within the contractual terms of multiple suppliers.  

  3. Managed service provision – as demand grows for cloud-based services and organisations choose to go down the multi-cloud route, further opportunities will arise for channel partners to become managed service providers (MSPs) providing multiple environments and platforms.  In addition, traditional independent software vendors (ISVs) will continue to offer Software as a Service (SaaS) business models working with companies providing hosting and colocation services.  Keeping up-to- date with the latest releases in terms of security features, testing and authentication services from providers such as AWS, Google and Microsoft can be a full-time job, therefore, organisations will look to their MSP to manage their multi-cloud environments while they focus on their core business.

  4. Security - was right alongside lack of resources/expertise as a major cloud challenge in the RightScale 2017 State of the Cloud Report.  The rapid rise in Internet of Things (IOT) applications will only increase nervousness for those organisations adopting multi-cloud environments.  The diversity of projects across vertical markets and the technology required to secure them, opens up a wealth of opportunity for channel partners. The market is evolving and traditional and new specialist channel companies have a perfect opportunity to up-skill and reap the financial rewards.

  5. Supporting services – for those preferring to concentrate on custom services, there is a market for database, analytics, load balancing and advanced monitoring services where specialist skills are in short demand. Business partners supported by distribution can help to fill the skills gap.   

At a time when the latest Cloud Industry Forum research2 says that 88% of respondents’ organisations are using on average three cloud-based services and around two in three (67%) companies expect to increase their adoption of cloud services over the next 12 months, now is the perfect time to make the move to provide and support multi-cloud environments.  With its extensive experience in data centre, networking and security and its new cloud services practice, Technology Solutions is in the perfect position to support channel partners choosing a winner in next-generation technologies - including multi-cloud.  

To find out more, contact your Avnet cloud solutions expert or visit http://www.ts.avnet.com/uk/products_and_solutions/cloud_solutions/

1www.Rightscale.com

2www.cloudindustryforum.org

 

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