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Evolution of Managed Services to Next-Gen Managed Services

Posted by: Pravin Bolar On February 13, 2019 05:03 PM facebook linked in twitter

Traditional managed services providers provided support across the full IT stack from network, storage, server hardware, server virtualization, operating system, infra apps, middleware, databases, software/data platforms such as SharePoint, SAP and finally the business apps. These managed services were enabled using People, Process and Tools which have remained unchanged to a large extent for the last 20 years.

With the advent of Cloud services from organizations such as AWS, there is a significant change being introduced into Enterprise IT from the perspective of Technology sourcing models, New skill requirements, New age tools/automation and Process enhancements. This has resulted in the need for defining the Next-Gen Managed Services model.

Next-Gen managed services is focused on re-defining the four dimensions that are foundational to the business.

1. People – Demands on new cloud based skills and hence the need for aligning and upskilling the existing Developers, Solution architects, System Administrators through training them on the Public Cloud Platforms such as AWS and encouraging them to achieve certifications (e.g. AWS Certified Developer, AWS Certified Solution Architect, AWS Certified SysOps Engineer etc.)

2. Process – The level of automation available is making traditional processes irrelevant. For example, a number of change requests that needed CAB approvals are now completely automated and self-managed for capacity, performance and availability needs. As an example, AWS Autoscaling allows for compute capacity to scale up or scale down depending on various metrics and their corresponding threshold values (e.g. CPU Utilization). Release process which required a number of change requests to be executed are now automated and doesn’t require human intervention. AWS Developer tools such as AWS Codecommit, AWS Codepipeline, AWS Codebuild, AWS Codedeploy enables a DevOps process, which helps developers to commit code to repository and allow the automated AWS CI/CD process to help automate the entire release management lifecycle.

3. Tools – Traditional set of tools were dependent on managing and monitoring a static IT environment. With cloud services, IT resources have become dynamic in nature and hence a new breed of tools, including cloud provider native tool-sets (e.g. AWS CloudWatch) and/or 3rd party toolsets (e.g. Datadog, New Relic, ScienceLogic etc.) are needed to manage cloud services. Many of these tools are not dependent on having agent installed and collect data from logs generated by these cloud services in order to provide availability and performance monitoring.

4. Governance – Above the 3 pillars of People, Process and Tools is the most critical part of managed services, The Governance. While traditional governance was based on service management processes with emphasis on incident, problem, configuration, capacity and release management, the next-gen managed services will be driven by the ability to manage Cloud costs and use AI, Analytics and Orchestration to manage a number of the service management processes. Cost management is critical to the success of adopting Cloud and showcasing Business Value. As in the case of AWS, the same EC2 instance may be procured in an on-demand model, a reserved instance model or a SPOT instance model. The price points between these AWS sourcing models vary significantly. New age governance needs to understand the usage patterns of workloads and their criticality and use them to choose the most economical sourcing option.

The next generation managed services will also bundle AWS cloud subscription and support services together to provide an end to end SLA for a business service. AWS is leading the Cloud services market and hence enabling managed services transformation across the regions.

About Author

Pravin Bolar, Senior Vice President, Head Cloud Services, Tech Mahindra

Pravin Bolar heads the Cloud Services business in Tech Mahindra and is responsible for overall sales, solutions and delivery leadership of Cloud services globally. Pravin brings with him over 25 years of rich multi-functional experience in the IT Application, Infrastructure and Networking domain helping build enterprise solution strategies for several Fortune 500 clients. Follow him @pravinbolar

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