The cloud adoption journey continues to challenge organizations at a time when many consider the computing model to be critical to their operations.
A new report published by Aptum Technologies, an MSP and hybrid multi-cloud provider based in Toronto, found 71% of respondents reporting "negative effects due to the rate of cloud transformation." The litany of poor experiences cloud adopters might encounter include unforeseen operational issues, botched migrations, data governance issues and unrealized business outcomes, said Craig Tavares, global head of cloud at Aptum.
Cloud costs that were higher than expected are another issue. A third of the survey respondents cited IT expenditures as the leading source of trouble. Previous surveys from other service providers have also cited cost as an issue. Aptum polled 400 senior IT professionals in the U.S., Canada and U.K. for the report, which is the first installment of its four-part Cloud Impact Study.
MSPs and other channel partners already active in cloud projects may be called upon to help more customers with cloud adoption. Nearly 70% of the survey respondents said they aim to accelerate their cloud deployments but need expertise and help to do so.
Organizations have high expectations for the cloud. According to the Aptum report, 99% of the respondents viewed the cloud as important to their organizations' overall success. Eighty-nine percent cited the technology as essential to business continuity.
The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the cloud's importance. The Aptum report stated 95% of companies use some cloud computing models to mitigate the pandemic's effects.
Respondents identified a number of business drivers propelling cloud adoption, including increased efficiency (72%), increased business agility (56%), increased security (51%), business continuity (48%) and increased profitability (39%).
The anticipated benefits, however, don't always match reality. Only a third of Aptum's survey respondents said they saw complete success when attempting to increase efficiency in the cloud. Thirty-five percent of the respondents reported complete success with their cloud-based business continuity efforts, while a third cited complete satisfaction with the cloud's capacity to provide agility.
Agility -- always among the top motivations for cloud adoption -- has become more of an issue during the COVID-19 pandemic, Tavares said.
"COVID-19 has further deepened this desire across the board," he noted. "For those sectors that have slowed down, they are relying on the cloud to scale back. And, for industries that have accelerated and seen massive growth, they're looking for the ability to scale up quickly and efficiently."
VMware updates cloud, MSP partner strategy
VMware revealed innovations to its cloud provider and MSP partner strategy at this week's VMworld 2020 virtual conference, including new products aimed at supporting partners' capabilities around multi-cloud and modern applications.
At the event, VMware launched Cloud Partner Navigator, formerly Project Path, which aims to provide partners with a platform for managing multi-cloud operations and ramping up their multi-cloud services, VMware said. Additionally, the vendor unveiled VMware Cloud Director (VCD) 10.2, giving partners more tools to develop network and security services. VCD 10.2 also adds offerings and controls for object storage, which "will help providers tier storage services, helping manage cost and performance," in addition to enhancements to support modern application services, according to a VMware blog post.
Rajeev Bhardwaj, vice president of products in the cloud services business unit at VMware, said the complexities associated with application modernization and multi-cloud environments has opened a broad opportunity for VMware partners.
"There is a lot of complexity for the end customers," Bhardwaj said. "We believe that our partners are uniquely positioned … to help the end customers through this [application modernization and multi-cloud] journey."
VMware currently works with about 4,000 cloud provider partners globally. Bhardwaj noted that VMware said it saw a 173% increase in Cloud Verified partners since last year, totaling more than 400 Cloud Verified alliances.
Multi-cloud solutions provider Rackspace Technology said it expanded its managed services across VMware-based multi-cloud offerings. Those include support for Azure VMware Solution, Google Cloud VMware Engine, VMware Cloud on Dell EMC, Dell Technologies Cloud Platform and VMware Tanzu.
MSPs look to cloud, security projects in 2021
At the MSPWorld conference this week, managed services executives provided a glimpse into 2021.
Cloud computing and security -- mainstays for channel companies in 2020 -- will continue to fuel MSP business next year. Ron Venzin, partner at Focal Point Solutions Group, an MSP based in St. Augustine, Fla., said he anticipates more security requirements in 2021.
He also said service providers can expect "a lot of changes" next year. He said some businesses will remain remote, while others will operate as partly brick-and-mortar and partly remote enterprises. MSPs must stay "light on their feet" and work closely with their customers, he added.
Eric Aslaksen, CTO at iVision, an MSP based in Atlanta, listed cloud and security as the company's top priorities next year. Security, in general, has endured as a key service line during the pandemic. While some project-oriented work took a hit in 2020, security remained in demand. Aslaksen said concerns about security risk prompts organizations to sign off on projects.
Travis Springer, vice president at Sagiss, an MSP based in Dallas, also cited cloud and security, adding device management outside of the traditional network perimeter as another key technology for 2021.
- Datto Inc., a Norwalk, Conn., company that sells its data protection and business management products to MSPs, aims to list its common stock under ticker symbol "MSP." The company this week filed its registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, kicking off its initial public offering (IPO) process. The move was expected.
- Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) named George Hope as its worldwide head of partner sales. Hope currently serves as vice president of worldwide distribution at HPE. Hope spoke at HPE's virtual Distribution Partner Conference this week.
- EPlus, based in Herndon, Va., said it has added Alert Logic's managed detection and response (MDR) platform to its managed cloud security service portfolio. A week ago, Mission, a managed cloud services provider based in Los Angeles, launched an MDR service based on Alert Logic.
- Onepath, an Atlanta-based company that provides software, hardware, professional and managed services, rebranded as 1Path. The company said it plans to provide new offerings around AI and machine learning, low-code/no-code technology and workflow automation.
- Collibra, a data management vendor based in New York, launched a partner program with more than 200 technology, services and resale partners. Program participants include Google Cloud, Tableau, Snowflake, PwC and First San Francisco Partners. In addition, Privitar, a data privacy platform provider, said it is offering an API-based integration with Collibra.
- DataBank, a data center and managed services provider based in Dallas, said it has achieved the VMware Cloud Verified designation.
- WatchGuard Technologies, a network security vendor based in Seattle, said existing and newly added partners from its acquisition of Panda Security can now access both companies' products through authorized distributors.
- Datadobi, an unstructured data management software vendor based in Belgium, unveiled a premigration assessment service for its partners. The offering works in conjunction with DobiMigrate data migration software.
- Carahsoft Technology Corp., an IT solutions provider in the government market, is partnering with CoreView, a SaaS management platform. Carahsoft will make CoreView's technology available to public sector organizations through its resellers and vehicles such as NASA Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement V and National Cooperative Purchasing Alliance contracts.
- Cloud distributor Pax8 inked a deal with ticketing automation vendor Tier2Technologies. Under the agreement, Pax8 will offer Helpdesk Buttons and Tier2Tickets ticketing products to North American partners.
- In the data analytics space, Kyligence, based in San Jose, Calif., said it entered a reseller partnership with Enterprise Software Solutions, an IT consulting firm. The arrangement will focus on Latin America.
- The ASCII Group, an IT community of North American MSPs, managed security services providers, solution providers and systems integrators, appointed Jessie Devine as director of channel development. Devine will oversee the development of alliances and new channel strategies for ASCII's vendor partner program, the organization said.
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