Ask the Experts: Managed Services in the Cloud

June 7, 2016 Nicole Klemp

managed services in the cloud

So implementation of your new cloud-based application is finally complete. Congratulations! But while go-live may feel like a finish line, it’s really just the beginning. Public cloud software vendors like Salesforce, Workday, and Google continuously deploy major and minor releases, and all customers get upgraded together. Your post-go-live team is tasked with keeping up with the speed of business change and meeting ever-accelerating business expectations. Changes in your organization, productivity initiatives, unanticipated usage patterns, and vendor upgrades can create unpredictable demand for resources to manage and improve your applications.

Many organizations struggle to find the time and resources needed to manage their cloud apps, and are forced to stretch their limited IT teams across roles in which they may have little experience, resulting in slow response times and mistakes. If building your own staff of business analysts, developers, project managers, quality assurance professionals, and admins seems like a daunting option, Cloud Management may be a great solution for you. But what exactly is Cloud Management (aka managed services in the cloud)? I recently sat down with our resident expert on the subject, Glenn Weinstein, to learn more.

GWGlenn Weinstein is an Appirio co-founder and SVP of Global Services, as well as the company’s CIO. He is responsible for driving the technology vision for Appirio, and overseeing U.S. and India-based consulting and managed services teams.

 

What is Cloud Management?

GW: It’s managed services for the public cloud. If your company runs on Salesforce, Workday, or Google, you can let Appirio’s Cloud Management team run your production environments. It’s an annual contract, so you don’t have to worry about maintaining production systems; your team can focus on building new apps, and hand them off to Cloud Management when they’re live. That said, Cloud Management isn’t just about maintenance; providing a steady stream of enhancements and new features is also critical. That was hard to do in the old on-premises world, but it’s come to be expected for cloud-based systems.

Why should organizations have a cloud partner after go-live?

GW: The implementation project is exciting, but it’s only the first step. On the day of go-live, your organization is just starting its journey. The value you get from your cloud-based systems is based mostly on how you end up maintaining and enhancing the apps over time. And most organizations’ IT teams aren’t big enough or specialized enough to really focus on production systems and keeping the momentum.

What does constantly evolving software mean for organizations’ IT teams?

GW: Even if we never did a single enhancement to a production system, the public cloud app vendors typically do 2-3 new releases every year. These new releases can greatly expand the kinds of business scenarios that you can run through the systems. It’d be a shame to miss taking advantage of this major benefit that public cloud apps have over their on-premises predecessors. But it really goes beyond keeping up with the vendor; today’s workers demand and expect their systems to constantly improve — just like their consumer apps do.

Learn how to prepare for the changing role of managed services providers in a public cloud-dominated IT landscape from our ebook, Managed Services in the Cloud.

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