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Key Capabilities of Cloud Managed Services Providers (MSPs)

Neelesh Kripalani,Sr. VP & Head – Center of Excellence (CoE),Clover Infotech

Rapid digitization is compelling enterprises to modernize their application and infrastructure landscape to drive business agility. As IT services are becoming complex with each passing day, enterprises are finding it challenging to manage their cloud infrastructure. That’s where a cloud managed services provider comes in.

Cloud MSPs help customers to move their critical workloads and data to a secure, reliable cloud infrastructure and integrate existing systems with it. They help customers to manage their cloud solutions and operations to ensure maximum business efficiency. By adopting cloud managed services, enterprises can better support their key business activities, match the environment to the workload, optimize the application lifecycle and scale rapidly.

Selecting the right Cloud MSP partner is critical for the success of the business. We have listed down key capabilities that enterprises should look for when evaluating a cloud MSP:

Core Expertise in Application, Infrastructure and Workload Management – Cloud MSPs with their specialized knowledge and practices help enterprises to navigate the complexities of migrating and managing workload on the cloud. They are the experts, who conduct a deep-dive analysis into the customer’s business, technical costs and contribution of each application in the IT portfolio. Based on the analysis and their understanding of the cloud environment, Cloud

MSPs give suggestions and recommendations to the customer to enhance efficiency, maximize returns and reduce downtime.

Hybrid Management Expertise – Enterprises use multi-cloud environment to better manage their workload, infrastructure and applications. Hence, when a Cloud MSP is hired, it is very important that they come in with the knowledge of planning, executing and synchronizing on hybrid environment. For effectively managing hybrid environment strategies, Cloud MSPs need to first understand the environment, and different cloud platforms available such as private, public and hybrid. They need to decide which cloud model is suitable for what kind of workload. One of the most critical decisions of a well-planned hybrid strategy is figuring out the compatibility of applications and databases with the various cloud platforms available.

Robust Cloud Security – When dealing with multiple cloud environment, managing robust cloud security cannot be overlooked. Cloud MSPs in collaboration with their customers can create cloud security rules of engagement and design a secure and compliant environment that protect services and data seamlessly. A Cloud MSP should run penetration-testing and regular security audits to locate potential loopholes and entry points in customer’s cloud infrastructure. They must ensure that there are no back doors in the servers, storage, applications or other systems. It is the responsibility of Cloud MSPs to be transparent with their customers about data retention and encryption.

Strategic Approach to Cloud Migration – A skilled Cloud MSP would always take a strategic approach to cloud migration. They would go through the application and infrastructure landscape after stabilizing the support and maintenance. They would segment the applications into four buckets such as Sunset, Synchronize, Service and Select. Migrating the applications to the cloud is not just a lift and shift exercise, it is much more strategic than otherwise perceived.

Cloud MSPs help customers to move their critical workloads and data to a secure, reliable cloud infrastructure and integrate existing systems with it

Optimization of the IT Landscape – Cloud MSPs understand customers’ goals and requirement, and then offer research and curated insights to develop and optimize IT infrastructure and application landscape. They leverage new-age technologies such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Intelligent Automation to automate rule-based and redundant tasks and enable employees to perform roles that are more analytical and strategic.

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