Last updated: 20 November 2018
The disappearing IT infrastructure
The digital transformation is upon us and managing and securing an ever increasing number of devices and complexity of technologies can prove to be a huge challenge for enterprise IT. Having more digital assets leads to major headaches due to the complexity of technologies, the lack of available and affordable skills and the ever-changing security threat landscape. As well, infrastructure continues to evolve from hardware to software and services. The digital transformation and the disappearing infrastructure is pushing enterprises to explore to a consumption-based, service-driven model.
Before I go further into the discussion, I would like to point out Gemalto and The 451 Group recently hosted a joint webinar: We are all MSPs: Maximizing ROI and Portfolio Diversification with Security. Many of the points in this blog come from that webinar, so whether you get more from reading or listening/visuals, we have all mediums available for you.
The modern service provider
The 451 Group, IT research and advisory company, compiled some interesting survey responses into their 4Sight report: As Infrastructure Becomes Invisible, We are All Service Providers. This report examines the changing enterprise IT model and found the goal of many enterprise CIOs and many categories of IT vendors is to morph into service providers. According to the report, cloud is the new normal as we see an increasing number of IT resources and functions moving off premises. Today: 59% say the majority of their IT resides on-premises, but in two years, the balance will swing dramatically toward off-premises. This shift includes traditional on-prem companies, large enterprises, healthcare, public, and financial organizations, such as Barclays that is planning an “all in” move to AWS public cloud, sector. According to IDC, an astounding 60-70% of all IT enterprises are expected to invest majorly in cloud-based solutions by 2020. The 4Sight report predicts that naturally following the cloud migration will be workload. Email and collaborative solutions are expected to see the biggest move with 46% looking to SaaS solutions for deployment. Other workloads moving away from on prem include web and media, data and analytics and business applications.
MSPs are responding
Many MSPs have recognized this enormous opportunity and are building business plans and service strategies to help their customers. MSPs and MSSPs and traditional resellers alike are beating a path to be a one-stop shop for applications. According to 451 Research, it is about a “sell with” approach by addressing business requirements with security “built-in”.
Every service provider, from the smallest SMB hosting company to the biggest hyperscale player—everyone needs to partner; be part of other providers’ ecosystems and (ideally) have an ecosystem that makes its own products/services/expertise part of other providers’ delivery stacks.
451 Research stressed for MSP/MSSPs to best serve their customers, it’s important to not just team up with providers and resell their offerings. Single point of contact and billing is as all well and good, but organizations are upping the ante on providers and expect integration (at the very least) and increasingly co-developed solutions.
Compliance in a cloudy world
Regulations are coming to the forefront from all over the world, from GDPR to Notifiable Data Breach Australia, leaving organizations struggling to determine how to protect their sensitive information, which is often a stored in multiple data siloes. The most important goal is ensuring all data is secured, no matter where it’s stored—organizational challenges in doing so include:
• Multiple borders and data silos
• Too many solutions, high management overhead
• Individual SaaS providers become Crypto custodians
• Struggle to define a unified security policy
• Lost portability and control
• Investment is prohibitive
The result of these challenges is 60% of data is NOT protected, which is a nightmare for organizations when it comes to compliance. Helping organizations protect data and become compliant with regulations is a massive opportunity for MSPs, no matter what you’re selling, whether it be security, applications or infrastructure.
As outside providers step up to help organizations with these growing challenges, there are several important steps MSPs should address going in:
• Help companies consolidate security operations and vendors
• Be prepared to help migration and recognize security implications
• Expand offerings to customers (full-service, including: SLAs, help desks, etc.)
• Offer easy integration to wider system structures (billing, payments, customer service, etc.)
• Support companies of all sizes
• Simplify audits across disparate groups within an organization
• Communicate your capabilities clearly
Cloud-based data protection for managed service providers
As a MSP or MSSP selling managed security services you need a solution that you can brand, bundle with your cloud or security services, and offer your customers a way to augment their security, effortlessly. By leveraging reliable, repeatable and profitable services, aligned to your business model, you can ensure the stickiness of satisfied customers, building in a range of security services, with single pane of glass management, across multiple clouds.
Gemalto offers such a solution with its SafeNet Data Protection On Demand, a cloud-based platform that provides a wide range of on-demand key management and encryption services through a simple online marketplace.
Take a look at SafeNet Data Protection On Demand, or dive right in with a free 30-day evaluation. Then head on over to BrightTalk to view the on demand webinar previously mentioned with Gemalto and joint guest William Fellows, 451 Research analyst. This webinar goes into more detail on this topic discussed in this blog, offers more research results and discusses how the cloud is creating opportunities as well as challenges for everyone.