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The case for managed service providers in your cloud strategy

Date posted: 24th September 2015

Although they seem like natural cloud enemies, managed service providers with the cloud are a great complement much of the time. 


Do you need an MSP (managed service provider) if you are moving to the cloud? That’s a question many IT leaders have. The answer is that use of MSPs can be complementary to a cloud strategy.

MSPs augment IT operations so that you retain more control over the infrastructure and application services — similar to using a hosted or collocated data center. When you outsource directly to the cloud, you lose some control because you’re using a shared infrastructure designed to minimize customization to achieve the cloud’s lower price.

Cloud Managed Services on the other hand can complement, not just act as an alternative, to the cloud. Cloud Managed Services provide cloud integration or cloud connection services that let IT deploy assets in a combination of managed services and public cloud services, all going through the single Cloud Managed Services Provider (CMSP). That is, the CMSP provides the management layer between the enterprise and the public cloud, as well as to those assets running at the Cloud Managed Services providers locations.

There are additional advantages:

One is that some Cloud Managed Services or MSPs are industry-focused, providing common services for specific industries, such as health care, retail, and manufacturing. Most public cloud services don’t focus on specific industries, which means an industry-focused CMSP or MSP can place the public cloud services in context to better serve industry-specific processes and compliance.

Another is that using CMSPs to leverage public cloud-based resources can be a great bridge to the cloud, with the CMS using its experience to help you get up to speed in the cloud for your early deployments while also handling IT assets not appropriate or ready for the cloud.

When it comes to MSP, CMSPs and the cloud, it’s not an either/or decision but a “right mix” decision.