2016: The Year of the MSP

As more organizations continue to adopt and migrate infrastructure to the cloud in 2016, managed service providers (MSPs) will play an even more crucial role in architecting and overseeing IT infrastructure, helping businesses comprehend the complexity of platforms and services, and explaining and helping organizations meet regulatory requirements. While MSPs hung their hats on the concept of hybrid cloud throughout 2015, we believe 2016 will be dominated by a broader organizational theory that will make hybrid even more impactful for the enterprise.

When an organization begins to migrate aspects of its infrastructure to the cloud, the data that remains outside of the cloud starts to gravitate to those applications running in the cloud. As data is pulled closer to that infrastructure, it can reduce latency, increase efficiencies and speed, as well as increase application performance, all of which can positively impact the end user’s experience. This concept, known as data gravity, is able to transform operations through the use and placement of data.

While it can be a little nerve-wracking moving your data from your own data center to the cloud, it doesn’t have to be. You are ultimately in control of the data you choose to migrate, and in many instances, the agility, flexibility, and cost efficiency are all well worth it – we’ve seen those kinds of positives happen quite often. Of course, you’ll need to decide what data placement will be best for your business and its goals. That’s where the new MSP comes in.

In 2016, MSPs will move beyond being simply the “stepping stone” to the cloud and become key partners in transforming IT infrastructures based on a business’ short and long-term priorities. The right MSP will have years of experience in the IT industry, along with the technical knowledge, strategic partnerships, and wide array of products and services necessary to build an infrastructure for you, instead of just providing an out-of-the-box solution they hope you’ll fit into. MSPs will also become an even more embedded member of an organization’s IT team, monitoring and managing the long-term efficiencies of the infrastructure and proactively recommending adjustments to continually increase agility, decreased recurring in-house IT costs, and increased overall efficiency for the business.

As we move into 2016, we are not going to see organizations committing 100% of their infrastructure to the cloud. As data gravity becomes more prominent and MSPs offer more customized hybrid cloud solutions, we will see enterprises more commonly utilize this mix of infrastructure to combine the advantages of the cloud with managed infrastructure in facilities to gain superior network access to the cloud, improve security and compliance standards, and modernized their IT infrastructure.

Rich Dolan briefly served as Senior Director of Corporate Marketing at Rackspace. Before that he was Senior Vice President of Marketing for Datapipe, where he spent 16 years developing and driving its world class marketing team as the company grew into one of the leading global managed service providers, from the early days as a start up to a global enterprise player. He built and oversaw digital marketing and demand generation, event management, content management, internal communications, brand management, partner marketing and web properties. Rich managed the consolidation of marketing resources from five acquisitions, and led Datapipe to thirteen Gartner Magic Quadrant recognitions across the globe, including four placements in the Leaders quadrant. Before Datapipe, Rich spent four years with web design firm RareMedium, where he designed and architected web presences and client facing applications for Madison Square Garden, JP Morgan, Atlantis, XM Radio and Credit Suisse First Boston. Rich graduated summa cum laude from the New York Institute of Technology with a BA in computer graphics. He lives in New York with his wife and daughter.