By Vikas Bakshi, SVP – Global Alliances & India Business Head, Cloud4C
In a world where change is the only constant, technology is all poised for its next big evolution that will seemingly push every limit to the ‘edge’, both literally and figuratively. The explosion of multi-cloud, IoT, and cloud-native applications coupled with the emergence and need for widely distributed networks, low latency, and real-time analysis are all demanding enterprises to embrace edge infrastructure to enhance the quality of experience like never before.
This changing paradigm of edge computing in tandem with the drive to transform digitally poses both challenges and opportunities for the managed services providers (MSPs) as they must redefine their capabilities to ride the wave and emerge as true drivers of transformation at the edge.
From mere “service partner” to a trusted consultant
The edge-driven digital transformation requires MSPs to don a new hat of a trusted consultant. By integrating their technical capabilities into a consultative process, MSPs can create value for clients and, in turn, gain a competitive advantage. It not only helps clients to be on the right path to achieve the goals pertaining to modernization, optimization, data, microservices, or automation but also empowers them with the right knowledge and support to consistently pursue their digital transformation journey tomorrow and the day after.
The need to be agile at any Edge
Hybrid and multi-cloud have multiplied possibilities for enterprises to choose from a range of hyperscalers, services, and subscription models. In order to understand and fulfill their unique business needs, MSPs must be agile and flexible enough to execute their services in any environment going beyond limits similar to legacy infrastructures.
The same logic applies to industries MSPs are serving or intend to serve, too. Unlike earlier times, none of the leading MSPs bind themselves to a few industries. It’s the dream of every MSP to build an extensive portfolio encompassing all the industries starting from manufacturing, oil and gas to media and entertainment to financial services and the government sector. The need is to design solutions to cater to a wider customer base and varied industry segments.
Collaboration is the key to success
Like we discussed above, the scope of sectors, industry segments, and use cases in edge computing are significantly massive. Even within a particular industry such as manufacturing, there could be multiple segments having unique use cases for e.g. chemicals and pharma, automotive, food processing, etc. Logically, a wide range of application vendors and suppliers cater to these segments. MSPs who will provide edge services by collaborating with all the vendors and suppliers across the ecosystem will emerge winners.
As the opportunity is huge and the number of participants is increasing at a staggering rate, it’s important how each participant can integrate themselves vertically in the value chain of edge computing and horizontally across industries. MSPs, being at the center of this ecosystem, have the biggest potential to capture new revenue streams and increase market share.
When it’s about digital transformation, think long-term
Much contrary to the common notion, digital transformation is anything but hunky dory. Majority of the organizations today are racing to transform, but with a short-term vision and goals. Take data for example. Every business is flooded with extremely crucial data, gathered from multiple devices and an endless number of end-points. Data that will only multiply in the coming years. How do they use that data? How do they build infrastructure and applications today that will be able to optimize, process and analyze those data in the future?
Today, organizations are looking at MSPs as long-term digital transformation partners who are well aware of both the possibilities and challenges tomorrow might bring.