February 4

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Managed hosting consolidation in 2020: How to avoid being affected by the ‘Big Squeeze’.

For the last few years, the managed hosting market saw the first signs of consolidation, fuelled by the continuing success and popularity of the hyper-converged cloud providers (a.k.a. The Big Three: Amazon, Azure and Google Cloud Platform). The impact on the Managed Hosting market has been profound – one of the latest is the acquisition of Veeam for almost £4bn. 

This continuous stream of mergers and acquisitions can pose considerable business risks to across a wide range of issues such as continuity and contingency, but also often touches upon security and privacy concerns regarding data protection and cybersecurity. For example: What will happen if a company changes jurisdiction as is happening with Veeam becoming a US company? What does that mean for privacy and security? 

Mergers and acquisitions always pose a risk for the organisations using their products and services. After all, what were previously separate processes and infrastructures now need to become an integrated and unified service. No matter the best intentions and planning, there are likely hiccups to be expected when your current provider is undergoing consolidation. Performance, availability and resilience are inevitably at risk.

As a consequence, many organisations – customers and managed hosting providers alike – decide to embark on and utilise the cloud. Many managed service providers in fact transparently use underpinning cloud technology to streamline, automate, and scale their service offerings. But it doesn’t stop there.

Many customers, especially small to medium size businesses, quite rightfully look for extra support and bring in external experts to manage the day-to-day operations of business critical activities which sit outside of their core expertise and skills. With the continued popularity of the cloud, many organisations overlook or are unaware that the commercial relation with the cloud provider has an important impact on the changed sets of responsibilities borne by the provider and the customer. What is common knowledge in ITIL v3 (and soon ITIL v4) managed services, the shared responsibility model is just as much relevant in the cloud (e.g. Amazon, Microsoft, Google). What many forget, however, is the cloud’s extreme versatility and configurability exacerbate the potential impact of misconfiguration and security holes introduced as part of the cloud customer’s set of responsibilities.

To help you navigate your way forward, here are our recommendations:

1) Look for truly independent external experts/providers

Independent IT service providers are a bit like independent financial advisers. You pay for their services, but are assured that you get independent, balanced and customer-focused advice. No hidden commissions, charge-backs, or any other commercial interests to prefer one provider over another.

Truly independent experts and providers have no parent company to answer to and abide by their directions and control, so they can focus on your needs. No conflict of interest.

Digital Craftsmen is proudly independent, and has every inclination to stay that way.

2) Time and skill-squeezed SMBs are better off choosing a managed cloud provider

Between the alternatives of traditional fully managed services and direct consumption of cloud services lies the golden compromise of contracting a managed cloud provider. They fill the responsibility gap between both extremes by leveraging operating cloud infrastructure (their own or using third party providers) by taking on the responsibilities you are otherwise required to own when contracting pure cloud infrastructure providers directly.

In such a setting, SMBs reap the benefits of cloud computing while at the same time remain assured that the IT workloads are appropriately managed and maintained while not having to bear the cost of employing their own IT or cloud specialists.

Digital Craftsmen proudly serves its customers by offering its own cloud-based infrastructure as well as integrating all major public cloud providers into hybrid and multi-cloud solutions providing the best business value for our customers.

3) Choose a managed cloud provider with proven operational excellence

When contracting a managed cloud provider, you are handing over control of an important part of your operations to an external partner. You need to be assured they not only meet your expectations but exceed them. They need to have the capacity and capability to seamlessly embed and integrate with your processes and procedures.

Look for providers who are formally audited and certified in key areas of your concerns. Look for providers who offer daily offsite backup and disaster recovery services. 

Digital Craftsmen are certified cybersecurity experts (ISO 27000 and UK’s Cyber Essentials Plus) as well as process and service management (ISO 9000 and ITIL v3). Digital Craftsmen is an award-winning Investors in People company recognised for its continuous improvement by its investment in skills and training.

4) Choose a cloud provider with proven excellence in your business domain

While there are many general-purpose managed hosting and managed cloud providers, it is very well worth investing time into considering and reviewing providers specialising in your business domain. Many verticals not only require high-quality general-purpose services (e.g. website, email, cloud storage, back-up) but are also further constrained by regulatory frameworks (e.g. finance, insurance, pci, healthcare).

Providers specialising in these fields have the necessary expertise and knowledge to cater to your needs and requirements that not every provider has.

Digital Craftsmen has a proven track record in providing managed cloud hosting services, regular cybersecurity assessment solution services. Digital Craftsmen also provides expert knowhow and support for the following sectors:

  • Digital Agencies
  • Financial Services
  • Construction
  • Transport
  • E-Commerce
  • Public Sector 
  • E-Learning
  • Retail

If you want to find out more about the expert cloud management services Digital Craftsmen provides, then speak to one of the Craftsmen by emailing: [email protected] or call on 020 3745 7706.

As always our work is verified by ISO 27001 and Cyber Essentials Plus accreditations.

VMware Partners


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