Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand MSPs with cloud capabilities have a lot to look forward to in the short and medium term, according to a new report by Forrester.
The State of Cloud in Australia and New Zealand 2023 report shows that 53% of local cloud decision-makers believe that their organisation will prioritise modernisation via cloud computing.
The top drivers for this increased appetite for the cloud are both scalability and on-demand capacity, with both categories being highlighted as key benefits of the cloud by 31% of respondents.
Meanwhile, perhaps unsurprisingly, 33% of respondents cited application protection as the biggest concern in moving work to the cloud. Major Australian enterprises, including Optus, Medibank Private, and Latitude Financial, were successfully broken into via API exploits in the past year. This has driven the government to target regulation in the area and undermined some confidence in the ability of enterprises to keep data secure when in the cloud.
A further 28% of respondents were concerned not by the risk of a data breach, but rather business resilience, specifically whether their organisation would have the right data protection and disaster recovery calibration to manage risk with data housed in the cloud.
MSPs Can Fill Skill Gaps
There are, of course, ways to protect data in the cloud. Applications can be secured by adopting a Zero Trust approach to permissions, and data backups and disaster recovery can be isolated from the main infrastructure until needed via air-gapping techniques.
As the Forrester report acknowledges, the challenge that A/NZ organisations face is a lack of skills in new technologies and transformation. Enterprises of all sizes also need support when transitioning to agile methodologies and cloud-native services blended into the mix.
These organisations are turning to MSPs to fill those gaps, and as cloud-native becomes the “new normal,” there will be businesses – particularly in the SME space – that have no choice but to rely on their partners to meet their IT management needs.
MSPs will also have the opportunity to engage more deeply and advocate for further transformation. Thanks to Australia having generally poor Internet connectivity and stability, which can impact decentralised IT environments, there is an emerging appetite for “cloud-native at the edge” design to promote as much self-reliance as possible in edge environments. This will be particularly compelling for MSPs working across industries like healthcare, retail, travel, and agriculture.
The main challenge and opportunity for MSPs will be to make sure that they keep up with the rate of demand. MSPs face the same hiring environment as other organisations but are also able to focus more closely on recruitment and retention of IT skills and have a greater capacity to train and broaden their employees’ skill sets. Those that can keep on top of the skills question through MSP certifications or other methods can expect several very busy and lucrative years ahead.