What are the Benefits of Cloud Managed Services?
Using cloud managed services, organizations can add to their existing competencies or replace costly functions or processes. Cloud managed services can transform IT systems and automate business processes, allowing the organization to focus more of their resources and efforts on achieving strategic business objectives.
Based on which layer organizations would like to outsource, there are three common options for managed services:
- Managed through the application layer: the vendor manages the application – such as e-commerce, overseeing Oracle ERP, SAP, Web-based, reporting and social media apps – through to the application layer. It includes apps and database patching, as well as the support of the corresponding echo system from a technical perspective. These plans usually offer service-level agreements (SLA) at the application layer.
- Managed through the data layer: the vendor manages the data layer (databases such as DB2, Oracle, SQL-SVR and MySQL). Their support and back-ups are part of the services. It also includes what’s offered in the option below.
- Managed through the OS layer: the vendor manages only through to the operating system layer. This includes the OS installation, support, virus protection, provisioning, etc.
Cloud managed services tools enable cloud computing-based resources to work optimally and properly interact with users and other services. Cloud managed services offer organizations the following capabilities:
- Self-service: cloud managed services offer organizations the self-service capabilities that can eliminate the processes typically associated with IT resource provisioning. Users can access a public or private cloud, review current cloud computing instances or create new ones, monitor utilization and costs, and adjust resource allocations. With reporting, users can track cloud budgets, and reduce or delete unused instances to cut operating expenses.
- Workflow automation: cloud managed services automate organizations’ workflows. Organizations can turn business policies into the actionable steps needed to create and manage cloud computing instances, without human intervention. Workflow automation helps businesses meet their reporting, deployment and compliance needs. For example, cloud management tools can alert a manager when an employee tries to move a private cloud workload to the public cloud, potentially violating company compliance or security policies.
- Cloud analysis: cloud managed services enable ongoing analysis of cloud computing workloads and user experiences (UX). In a private cloud environment, organizations can ensure their infrastructure works properly and offer a basis for tasks, such as workload balancing and capacity planning. In public clouds, performance metrics for latency or downtime help ensure compliance with public cloud provider SLAs. Using metrics, organizations can also decide whether to change cloud providers, or migrate workloads from public to private clouds.
- Quick time to delivery for increased customer retention
- Flexibility to provision exactly what the customer wants: CPU, memory, disk space, network/configuration, and how the customer wants them allocated
- Quick ROI, reduced operational expenses and cost savings
- Visibility and control via metering enables charging customers for exactly what they use
- Competitive advantage through provisioning control: while not every service provider will want to offer self-service provisioning, the functionality is still important and cannot be offered without cloud management. Some companies will want to enforce delegation control – certain people can provision servers on-demand, while others need to request it. This is a competitive advantage
- Reduced compliance risk
- Maximized hardware and software performance, increased network performance, enhanced network security and improved system reliability
If you’d like to learn more, please check out Sapiens’ NEW white paper, How Cloud Computing is Reshaping the Way Insurers Work.