Customers want MSPs to give more cloud analytics

With many users finding the cloud is costing them more than they expected, the call for increased insights is becoming an emerging theme

Customers are looking for more insights into their cloud workloads and spending, and expect managed service providers to be able to deliver that level of service.

Over the past couple of years, fuelled by the needs of the pandemic, customers have embraced the cloud, but many are now reflecting on their progress, and looking for the channel to provide greater levels of insight and management.

According to a recent study from Aptum, the firm’s annual Cloud impact study 2023 – Clear skies ahead: Avoiding chaos in the cloud, overall customers were satisfied with their rate of cloud transformation, but challenges remained, including integration, gaining cost predictability, coping with a lack of skills and keeping up with changes in technology.

The main two concerns were around cost, with 73% of respondents revealing the cloud was more expensive than they expected, and 34% agreeing that improving analytics and reporting was a top priority for the year ahead.

Investments into multiload and hybrid environments are continuing, but users are struggling to deal with growing complexity across those platforms.

Susan Bowen, CEO of Aptum, said the desire for more analytics comes from customers wanting to get a clearer picture of what’s going on and how money is being spent.

“Customers are saying it was a really good decision that we made over the past two or three years to do what we’ve done in a hybrid multi-cloud environment,” she said. “But what we need to do now is work on how to manage the cost, because actually, my cost base is increasing. The other piece is that everyone’s saying, ‘Well, if I can get my costs in a better place, the other piece I’d like to do is have far more statistics’.”

Increased insights

Managed service providers were being looked to for increased insights as customers grappled with their cloud estates.

"[Customers indicated] we need to have more analytical tools,” said Bowen. “We need to have better coverage across all our platforms and services.

“This is very much a new thing, because historically, people would have a good sense of their workloads and have a good sense of their capacity, but they weren’t looking for all the analytics to support it. And I think what’s changing is everyone’s saying, ‘You know what, actually, I want to analyse the workload more – I’m not going to just trust that what’s in my cloud is what I need’,” she said.

Bowen added that customers were displaying more confidence around deciding which workloads should sit in public, private or hybrid environments, but because of a skills shortage were turning to the channel in increasing numbers.

“We have seen commoditisation in the managed services space and also more trust that your managed service providers do that work for you,” she said.

“I think organisations now understand that with really good, solid advisory and consulting services, you can provide that access, that trust and that confidence, and then start to [offer] services around it.”

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