Service Provider Summit 2022
MSPs are strategic partners of their customers
In addition to technical services, service providers are now taking on an advisory role for their customers, observes Saša Petrović, Digital Strategy Director at Citrix. In addition, they are increasingly using the public cloud for their offers.
ITB: “Service Providing beyond Hyperscale” is the motto of this year’s Service Provider Summit. How have the market conditions for regional and medium-sized service providers changed in recent years due to the rapid growth of hyperscalers?
Petrović: Of course, at first glance, the hyperscalers seem to have everything on offer that customers want. But it is often not that simple in practice. After all, the various solutions must work together cleanly and efficiently. At this point, smaller and medium-sized service providers are increasingly coming into play: they are at the side of companies as strategic partners who not only offer services themselves, but also perform an advisory function, for example when choosing the right cloud provider or what happens to core systems that cannot be moved to the cloud. In addition, service providers are increasingly offering measures for change management. After all, many companies need a sustainable cultural change in order for the transition to the cloud to be successful.
ITB: Will service providers primarily pursue asset-light strategies in the future, i.e. offer their services in the public cloud, or will an asset-heavy approach with its own infrastructure still make sense?
Petrović: For some providers or certain services, their own infrastructure may still be justified. However, the majority of service providers will certainly do without them in the future and use the public cloud instead. A decisive reason for this is the possibility that you can scale your services in the public cloud according to the needs of your customers and save costs if you do not operate your own infrastructure. So for the same reasons why your customers are switching to the cloud.
ITB: Companies decide to work with an MSP to free themselves from infrastructure operations and concentrate on their core processes. If service providers now also perform advisory functions, should they look beyond technical services to deal with their customers’ business models and processes in order to support them, for example, in digitization projects?
Petrović: Definitely yes. Service providers must of course be able to offer their customers first-class technical solutions and services. In an increasingly complex IT landscape, however, you should also increasingly see yourself as a consultant to your customers – as mentioned, the trend is already in this direction – and help them to keep track and identify optimization or savings potentials as well as new use cases. This will allow you to build a long-term, trusting relationship that will benefit both sides.