Continuing our look ahead into 2016, I wanted to delve into the cloud industry from a customer service perspective. It’s no question the cloud consumption model has changed over the years, and organizations big and small are trying to keep up with the ever-changing landscape. As we look to the next 12 months, here are some predictions for what organizations will require of their cloud and IT infrastructure teams.
In a recent article, Don Sheppard with IT World Canada notes that service-oriented systems will emerge as a trend in 2016. He notes containerization and microservices as examples of new technologies for cloud-based PaaS and for the integration of services. As organizations begin to move to hybrid cloud infrastructures, a service-oriented approach becomes more of a critical factor for success, keeping everything operating and functioning together. The new year will prove it is now necessary to form patterns around key concepts such as discovery, provisioning, management and governance. From an MSP perspective, it’s critical to approach customer service in the same manner. A good MSP should be a guide as to how to integrate such service offerings across an IT environment, which services are required and which are extraneous.
Everyone now wants a custom experience. Even in our personal lives, technologies like Siri and wearables are taking hold. The cloud is no different – in fact, customization is the entire underlying purpose behind the hybrid cloud concept. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, and IT infrastructures should be as unique as the companies themselves. Approaching the cloud with this mindset allows organizations to avoid vendor lock-in by investing in solutions utilizing platforms best suited to their needs as those needs change over time. Customer service should be approached with the same mentality – each and every customer is unique, and in 2016 they’ll expect to receive even more personalization and attention.
MSPs in 2016 will become an even more embedded member of an organization’s IT team. Through monitoring and managing the long-term efficiencies of the infrastructure, they’ll proactively recommend adjustments to continually increase agility, decrease recurring in-house IT costs, and increase overall efficiency for the business. Proactivity is a key to ensuring a successful and long-term MSP relationship. If an MSP doesn’t constantly bring fresh ideas to the table, the organization loses out on opportunities to approach problems in unique and innovative ways. If an MSP doesn’t have the proactive factor, it lessens the benefit of working with an outside IT provider.