To Get to Cloud’s Silver Lining, Managed Services Go Early-21st-Century Modern

The popularity of television shows about home renovations, real estate, and house flippers have revived the term “mid-century modern.” Mid-century modern refers to a style of architecture, furniture and design that was popular in the middle of the 20th century. In the 1950s and 1960s, being modern or even “mod” was very important. The idea was to look up-to-date, to reflect the space-age, not coincidentally because during that time, space travel was also a big deal.

We’ve since consigned mid-century modern design to history. Yet, the idea that the term modern should reflect the latest and the greatest accomplishments of a time period is still with us. For the second decade of the 21st century, however, it’s not about outer space. Instead, it’s about changing to meet the needs brought to us by the cloud. And, that includes managed services. Let’s take a look.

From the space age to the cloud

While the creators of mid-century modern design were thinking that we’d all soon be traveling in outer space, changes were taking place that would open up a new kind of space: cyberspace. Cyberspace, the information age and the Internet all led us to the next logical step: reducing the massive footprint of computing power by moving it from individual data centers to the cloud.

We all know what happened next. Cloud exploded, becoming so much more than just virtualized servers. It became application and infrastructure delivery, space you could lease, software subscriptions and more. And, it wasn’t long before managed services—and managed service providers—added cloud infrastructure management to their repertoire.

Managed services: The early days

So, if you know anything about managed services, you know a little bit of this story. The main components of managed services in the early days and how they were addressed: were as follows:

  • Customer focus: Tickets and call-center
  • Change management: Extreme change and release rigor
  • Automation: Automating against a manual backdrop
  • Reporting and dashboards: Reliance on a third-party tool

The overall result was satisfactory at first. Things were less complicated then. Over time, though, as ITSM, mobile, social, and new processes came along, they were either considered add-ons or they had to be outsourced to a third party. (Talk about complicated.)

Then, as I mentioned earlier, cloud came along. And it changed everything.

Along came cloud

As cloud began permeating the computing landscape, after promising a bright future in terms of cost and investment, it threatened to rain on a lot of parades. Businesses had to think about how to handle all the complex tasks it takes to manage cloud infrastructure, tools and application stacks. If they’d been using managed services for on-premises systems, their IT departments were not prepared.

But there was more to it than that. If they were hoping to find a solution from managed services, it wasn’t long before they realized that what had been working so well, just didn’t anymore. Traditional managed services just couldn’t offer much in the way of cloud management.

But, boy did they want to be in the cloud. They knew—through the business grapevine and countless positive press—that successfully operating in and architecting for the cloud—was the way to go. They knew cloud would enable them to allot scarce skilled resources to delivering on their business objectives. In addition, they knew that cloud meant less time spent on IT operations. And so, they desperately wanted cloud managed services to alleviate operational demands.

Thoroughly modern cloud managed services

Basically, the modern cloud needs modern managed services. And now, in this second decade of the 21st century, they’re out there. These services offer, at their core, the management of computing, storage, networks, and operating systems. But they don’t stop there. They also manage complex tools and application stacks that run on top of that infrastructure.

Let’s return to the components of traditional managed services and contrast that with what modern managed services do to address them:

  • Customer focus: Customer-care focused services, including autonomy
  • Change management: DevOps tool chain and release pipeline
  • Automation: Automation backdrop augmented by manual
  • Reporting and dashboards: Integrated data and analytics

Best of all, what were once add-ons or additional outsources services are all inherent in modern managed services: ITSM and Modern Service Management (MSM), mobile, social, cloud management and net new processes. The result? Everything is aligned to support digital transformation—no third parties or additional services required.

Because I’ve been with 10th Magnitude so long, I believe that there’s an even higher level. When you add Azure to that mix, you have early-21st-century modern managed services: cyberspace-age, super clean, totally up-to-date.

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By |2018-04-18T19:57:23+00:00November 5th, 2017|