Cloud Managed Services—A logical extension of cloud adoption


Cloud Managed Services—A logical extension of cloud adoption

State of Cloud: Trends & Predictions

Can Cloud Managed Services (CMS) increase the already-transformative value the cloud has to offer your organization?

A blog post by Marc Kagan, specialist executive, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Why did your organization start its cloud journey? If your answer is like many other organizations, it's probably to increase your agility, enhance your ability to respond to threats, and instantly scale to meet market opportunities. On the less glamorous front, it may also be to get out from under some of the technical debt you’ve accumulated over the years.

A blog post by Marc Kagan, specialist executive, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Whatever the reason, a cloud adoption journey can spawn a host of new challenges. Many companies that have made the leap to the cloud wind up deploying multiple environments with different configurations. They may also be in the process of migrating their legacy applications to the cloud or developing cloud-native apps. Each of these scenarios can introduce a great deal of complexity into the process of cloud operations.

The limits of IT functions

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos has described certain IT functions as “undifferentiated heavy lifting.”1 In practice, undifferentiated heavy lifting refers to those IT functions that—while critical to the organization in terms of providing a stable, workable IT environment—may not add differentiating value. They’re necessary, but they aren’t functions that enable you to differentiate your organization from the competition. Amazon Web Services (AWS) was born from this premise and designed to offer a solution for it at the infrastructure layer.

However, infrastructure availability is only one aspect of the cloud. Many cloud providers don’t offer help with undifferentiated heavy-lifting tasks at the operations layer such as backups, patching, infrastructure monitoring, and incident management. Consequently, those might be left to you to manage—which can consume valuable expert resources that could be deployed elsewhere with greater returns.

The CMS value proposition

This is where CMS comes in. It offers the same value proposition that sold you on the cloud in the first place, but at the operations layer. It can help you increase your agility and ability to respond quickly and scale to meet changing conditions and threats by allowing you to offload IT operations and focus on the activities that help you drive meaningful value and truly differentiate you.

How? CMS providers can assist with the design, build, and operation of end-to-end cloud solutions that enable you to scale up or down, when you need to, and leverage the latest infrastructure, platforms, AI technologies, and analytics tools when and how you need them. Moreover, CMS providers bring hands-on experience with cloud security to protect your most valuable data.

Comprehensive CMS providers will offer planning and execution of your cloud strategy, implementation, and migration—with your business goals as the driver of your solution. These services can include cyber security, application performance monitoring, license management and application administration services, server and software maintenance, and automated backup and disaster recovery for your entire cloud ecosystem—no matter your combination of multi-, public, private, or hybrid cloud.

Further, some CMS providers offer higher-order business processes, such as payroll management or supply-chain planning, as a service that leverages products you may already be using, so you can reduce your human capital costs via increased automation—all within your CMS services matrix.

What’s the payoff? You get the help you need to navigate the complexity of the cloud and jump ahead on the learning curve. No longer do your IT people have to figure out how to function on multiple cloud platforms or which tools to use. With a CMS provider, you get the best-of-breed tools, cloud management processes, and security controls you need to deliver capabilities, leaving your IT team to focus on delivering differentiating value.

You also get flexibility that spawns agility, and you can get it cost effectively. By leveraging CMS, you only pay for what you need, when you need it. You’re not stuck with hardware, software and services you don’t need, and you get the elasticity to scale up or down to meet threats or react to changing markets.

Unleashing CMS' transformative value

The bottom line is that leveraging CMS is a logical extension of the reasoning you used when you began your cloud adoption journey. By having CMS do the heavy lifting of IT operations management, you can more effectively use your resources to engage in activities that truly differentiate you and help grow your business, increasing the already-transformative value the cloud has to offer.


1Bezos, Jeff. 2006, quoted in “Fugue Addresses Cloud's “Undifferentiated Heavy Lifting” by Raquel Yerbery, in a blog post published August 29, 2017. Accessed March 31, 2019.

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