The Cloud MSP: Building on Traditional Roles

By Howard M. Cohen  |  Print this article Print
cloud MSP

ANALYSIS: As the way customers consume infrastructure services changes, MSPs continue to expand the services they manage into the cloud.

Soon we'll see MSPs hiring data scientists—those rare multi-disciplinary experts who bring together IT skills with mathematical, synthetic and analytical capabilities to see deeper into the data and extract more useful interpretations.

Just as customers trusted infrastructure to MSPs because it made more fiscal sense, they will turn to them for help analyzing and interpreting data.

Cloud MSP Opportunity: Managing Everything From the IoT

The cloud turned many things into services. Infrastructure became a service. Software became a service.

The Internet of things (IoT) promises to turn everything else into services. Even now, IoT has turned "turn the lights on/off" and "raised the thermostat" into services. Your car can call in for service all by itself. With more development, manufacturing will become a service. Distribution as a service.

Channel partners will find themselves in the business of managing heat, light and power for entire buildings by deploying sensors and automation to control HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) equipment and much more.

MSPs, Other Cloud Solution Providers Need to Be Innovative

Although cloud MSPs have made clear strides, a key issue for companies in the channel is finding the best spots to add value. (To learn more about the opportunities and challenges cloud solution providers face, read the next installment in Channel Insider's ongoing analysis of the cloud.)

Channel partners have always been challenged to innovate by their customers, by various industries, by the incredible speed of change and by the vendors who are creating that change. "Always innovate" have been channel watchwords since the Imsai and other early microcomputers. 

Today requires more. We must get outside the box in our thinking and find new ways to deliver business value to our customers.  If we are MSPs, we need to find new services to manage. That requires imagination added to intellect in our innovative efforts.

Up for the challenge? Tell us about your latest imaginative innovations.

Howard M. Cohen is a 30-plus-year IT industry veteran who continues his commitment to the channel as a columnist and consultant.