Battle for control over managed database services heats up

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jun 22, 2017 10:25:41 AM

One of the fiercest fights now occurring across the cloud is a battle for control over managed database services. The trouble is that rather than being a fight between traditional managed service providers, most of the conflict is between database vendors trying to sell managed database services directly.

For example, this week IBM announced it is making available a fully managed Db2 relational database service. Earlier in the week MongoDB announced it is extending its Atlas managed service for deploying instances of its namesake document database to Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Level of cloud adoption in the channel reflects IT reality

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jun 20, 2017 12:10:31 PM

A new “State of the Cloud” report based on a survey of 142 channel partners published by Gorilla Corp., a provider of sales and marketing services for the channel, finds that 65 percent of respondents provide hosted and managed cloud services. In addition, a full 70 percent report they manage and support cloud services.

While that may suggest the channel is aggressively transitioning to the cloud, the survey, conducted in collaboration with Kairos Strategic Consulting, also finds that only 38 percent have more than 50 percent of the services they provide delivered via the cloud. More telling yet, 71 percent say they expect to be selling on-premises IT hardware and software indefinitely. In fact, only 42 percent report they are working with more than four cloud vendors.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

MSP profits should increase as cloud becomes more mysterious

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jun 15, 2017 4:11:32 PM

There’s an old saying in the channel that wherever there’s mystery there’s profit. Given the level of platform complexity many IT organizations are now trying to navigate, everyone concerned should be generating plenty of MSP profits. Conventional wisdom holds that there’s an inexorable march underway that will result in all application workloads inevitably moving into a public cloud. A new global survey of more than 9,000 organizations published this week by Pure Storage, a provider of Tier 1 storage systems, suggests the truth of the matter is far more nuanced.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

SDS paves path to hybrid cloud storage solutions for MSPs

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jun 13, 2017 1:53:32 PM

It’s taken much longer than most people initially thought, but it appears software-defined storage (SDS) is finally upon us. While virtual machines have been with us for decades, adoption of virtualization to craft SDS solutions has been comparatively slow. But a new survey of 426 IT professionals conducted by DataCore Software, a provider of storage software, finds that roughly half of the respondents are now moving toward SDS for reasons that range from simplifying storage management to avoiding being locked into a single vendor.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

IoT risk assessments emerge as MSP opportunity

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jun 8, 2017 12:34:22 PM

With organizations apparently having learned little from the past, it appears most Internet of Things (IoT) projects are moving forward without much forethought being put into cybersecurity. A new survey of 553 executives published by the Shared Assessments Program, an industry standards organization focused on risk assurance, in collaboration with The Ponemon Institute finds that 67 percent of those surveyed are not evaluating IoT security and privacy practices before engaging in a business relationship. A full 77 percent of respondents also admit they are not considering IoT-related risks in their third party due diligence.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

MSPs need to carefully vet digital business transformation projects

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jun 6, 2017 10:29:43 AM

Digital business transformations are conceptually of interest to IT services providers because it provides an opportunity to tap into funding beyond what’s been allocated in the IT budget. But a series of recently published surveys illustrate just how challenging it is to get business executives to transfigure digital business transformation concepts into an actual plan of action.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

SD-WAN deployments are driving adoption of security appliances

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jun 1, 2017 3:55:52 PM

It turns out that increased adoption of software-defined wide area networks (SD-WANs) is starting to drive additional demand for security appliances.

An SD-WAN is a type of software-defined network (SDN) that provides a layer of abstraction that makes it possible for a remote office to access applications over a standard Internet connection or leased MPLS line. Standard Internet connections are typically used to access cloud applications such as Microsoft Office 365 without having to backhaul all the network through a corporate data center. Because those remote offices rely on standard Internet connections, a new survey of 350 networking and security professionals conducted by Cato Networks, a provider of software-defined networking and security services, finds that organizations investing in SD-WANs are also deploying security appliances to secure those connections.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Tax relief should create much needed opportunity for MSPs to reinvest

Posted by Mike Vizard on Apr 27, 2017 11:14:00 AM

Now that the Trump administration has formally proposed cutting the corporate tax rate by as much as 20 percent, many owners of managed service providers are doing a little happy dance. The fact is most MSPs operate under razor-thin margins that make it difficult for them to be consistently profitable.

Given the precepts laid out in “The Art of the Deal” book written by President Trump almost 30 years ago, it’s unlikely the U.S. Congress will enact the tax plan laid out as is. But there’s no doubt that some form of tax relief is on its way.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Control over billing matters in the age of the cloud

Posted by Mike Vizard on Apr 25, 2017 10:02:59 AM

Most IT service providers have come to realize that cloud computing is a double-edged sword. On one side, cloud computing makes it much simpler to deliver a wide spectrum of services. On the other, there’s always a danger that cloud service providers (CSPs) will look to cut out the middleman by providing, for example, their own managed services.

At the recent AWS SF Summit conference one of the services most heavily touted during a keynote delivered by AWS CTO Werner Vogel was AWS Marketplace SaaS Contracts. AWS is trying to use this service, which was initially announced last fall, to centralize all the billing for both the infrastructure and applications consumed on its public cloud. As of last week, AWS revealed it now has 70 providers of software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications participating in the program.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Shift to business intelligence in the cloud makes steady progress

Posted by Mike Vizard on Apr 18, 2017 10:57:48 AM

One of the primary benefits of shifting to the cloud is it makes it simpler to apply analytics and business intelligence (BI) applications against data residing in a centralized repository. Prior to the cloud, most of the relevant data inside any organization was distributed across applications running on any number of servers or devices. The problem is that it becomes difficult to make anything approaching a fact-based decision when the data residing in those disparate platforms conflicts. For that reason, savvier organizations are investing in BI applications that enable them to more easily consolidate data in way that allows them to make better decisions based on data that has been vetted by the organization.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

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