Demystifying the cloud: The opportunity for partners to cut through the complexity

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By Michael Allen, VP Worldwide Partners, Dynatrace.

The shift to the cloud has yielded undeniable benefits, from faster development cycles to increased operational efficiencies. Partners have been delivering cloud migration and transformation services over the past decade to enable this change for their customers.

In recent years, organisations have moved from a single cloud to hybrid multicloud environments. They’ve gone from having a handful of applications to thousands of them, consisting of millions of microservices. A few software releases per year have been replaced by continuous delivery. The scale and dynamic nature of these cloud-native architectures, and the explosion of data they produce, make them too complex to manage manually.

Enterprises are struggling to overcome this complexity. Many are trying to just patch different tools together or throwing more people at the problem in an attempt to get on top of it. These approaches are destined to fail because they are based on the old world of static, monolithic applications, not the new world of dynamic and distributed cloud technology stacks. Partners need to adapt with the times and present themselves as the key to taming cloud complexity. They have a huge opportunity to uplevel their relationship and the support they offer for customers while opening new revenue streams.

When opportunity knocks

For decades partners have been helping their customers to keep up with and benefit from the latest technology innovations. The digital transformation drive created a significant opportunity for the channel to expand its range of services, offering new solutions and products to help customers to along their roadmaps. The proliferation of cloud that has arisen should be viewed as a similar if not more important opportunity for the channel.

Cloud will only get more complex, so organisations will continually look to partner with service providers that can help to manage their ever-changing environments and enable them to innovate confidently and securely. This presents partners with a unique opportunity to transform their customers’ IT operations and development practices through a range of automation solutions and services.

Partners need to focus on where and how they can offer end-to-end solutions to help customers remove toil from core operations and development processes, so they can spend more time on innovation. For example, they should look to help their customers move towards a self-healing cloud strategy, so development and operations teams are no longer distracted by unplanned maintenance work. To enable this, they need to offer solutions that help customers to maintain visibility across their complex cloud-native environments. They also need to empower them to use the insights they gain from these solutions to continuously optimise their cloud applications and infrastructure and automate new workflows.

Expanding your offering

With the growing pressure to innovate faster, many developers have neither the time or the desire to take on new tasks such as configuring Kubernetes clusters or building new automation workflows. Partners can alleviate some of this pressure by offering solutions that make these tasks significantly easier or remove the need for developers to do them entirely. They can maximise the value they create for customers by combining these offerings with on the ground services that help their customers to make the most out of the new solutions.

For instance, a partner can help their customers to reduce the toil and effort involved in monitoring their multicloud environments by providing full-stack observability solutions that deliver predictable and trustworthy insights. They can take this one step further with professional services offerings that help their customers to get the most out of that solution for additional use cases, such as automating processes and workflows to enhance and secure the end user experience.

To maximise this opportunity, service providers need to focus on their ability to integrate services across multicloud and legacy infrastructure environments, through partnerships with leading ISVs and cloud hyperscalers. Those that succeed will be able to offer customers true end-to-end solutions that help them to accelerate their cloud transformation dramatically.

A mindset for a modern world

It’s all well and good offering cloud solutions and services to help customers traverse the latest digital innovation, but if partners themselves aren’t practicing what they preach then they will struggle to keep up. Service providers need to harness those same solutions they use to automate and optimise their customers’ cloud environments within their own organisation.

Taking a more automated approach to their own operations will free up service providers’ teams to find new ways to deliver value to the customer. Most importantly, it will give partners an insight into what their customers will be experiencing in the cloud and where their struggles lie with managing complexity. Ultimately, the rise of cloud has created an unmissable opportunity for partners to go beyond being a simple reseller by becoming strategic advisors to their customers. They simply cannot afford to miss it.

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