The future of IT is a hybrid of low cost cloud infrastructure and software, running alongside micro data centers at the edge of the network. One of the main reasons customers will need to keep significant on-premise infrastructures in place is due to the new applications being created by the digitization of everything in the enterprise, better known as the Internet of Things (IoT). As IoT gains traction, organizations are realizing there are a variety of reasons they can’t keep all their workloads in the cloud such as increased bandwidth demands, low latency requirements or increased government regulation of how customer data is handled.
This represents a change in thinking from just a few years ago, when the prevailing notion was to move as many workloads as possible to a cloud infrastructure. Now, just as organizations are getting comfortable with trusting critical workloads to the cloud, there is a need for a correction thanks primarily to the IoT.
The correction is starting to happen in the form of edge computing. Not only will servers, networking and storage increase at the edge, but the data they process, transmit and store will be the most mission critical that exist within the business. Meanwhile, data that isn’t needed until later, such as for big data analytics, is routed to the cloud.
For years, MSPs and IT solution providers have fretted about what their role should be in the cloud. After all, it is theoretically easy enough for any end user to plug into Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Google Cloud without help from an IT solution provider.
But as the hybrid model takes hold, bringing servers, routers and storage to the edge of the cloud, a new opportunity is emerging for the IT channel. End customers need IT solution providers to design and implement edge systems and, post-implementation, remain involved by providing the necessary maintenance and systems monitoring.
Edge computing is highlighting the reality that despite growing investments in the cloud, hardware isn’t going away – neither is the physical infrastructure that supports it. That infrastructure includes the physical infrastructure that helps protect a company’s IT investment.
The need for hardware and infrastructure is creating opportunity for IT solution providers, which will play a fundamental role in edge computing implementations. By extension, IT solution providers also will be essential to making the IoT viable.
Hardware and Services
Edge computing is both a hardware and services play. Customers will call on their IT solution providers to deliver, install and maintain the necessary hardware and infrastructure in the micro data centers on the edge. Post implementation, MSPs and solution providers will still be needed for the same reasons customers have always hired them – monitoring and management. All of the edge data centers will need monitoring and management, and those services will have to be delivered remotely because it will be impossible to staff them all.
This is a tailor-made opportunity for MSPs, who have vast expertise in remote monitoring and management services.
Cloud Role Clarification
For the MSPs and solution providers who have wondered how they fit into the cloud, edge computing helps clarify their role. That’s because edge data centers in a hybrid environment will connect through the cloud to the remote data centers and the core network. This means MSPs and solution providers will still do the work they’ve always performed while getting an entry point into the cloud.
Certainty in a Connected World
In the landscape of hybrid IT, you can continue to strengthen your customer relationships by offering your customers Certainty in a Connected World. Edge solutions that include robust monitoring ability allow you to demonstrate ongoing value to your customers and proactively keep them up, running, and focused on their core business.
The new hybrid IT environment along with edge solutions presents a growth opportunity that no MSP or solution provider should ignore. It offers you a ticket to the future. For more on edge opportunities, click here.