The managed services market is changing rapidly as enterprise adoption of external, managed and unmanaged infrastructure services go mainstream, according to 451 Research. It sees the biggest opportunity for vendors and providers who deliver high automation, rapid provisioning, and services that address complex enterprise needs while retaining high-touch delivery. Those providers who focus on specialist regional and vertical markets will also see substantial growth.
The research firm noted that “Everything-as-a-Service” is going to be the next big wave in cloud opportunity.

As the ‘as-a-Service’ model evolves beyond IaaS, PaaS and SaaS to include new kinds of cloud-based services, the research finds there is increasing demand for managed security, managed cyber-disaster recovery, managed networking services and managed hosting. Its Voice of the Enterprise: Hosting and Cloud Managed Services study shows that managed services and security services are attached to roughly half of the total hosting and cloud opportunity, and are increasing year-on-year.

“This spending trend, alongside feedback from providers, indicates there is an appetite for a wider range of bundled offerings from the managed service sector including systems integrators, VARs, and others with service delivery experience. We see a significant opportunity for technology vendors to partner with service providers to offer higher-value, niche, and vertical offerings as these services rapidly emerge,” said Rory Duncan, Research Director for and Hosting.

As much of the physical infrastructure delivered through IT distribution has become invisible to end users, many businesses have progressed from tin-shifting commoditized IT to supply new kinds of cloud services. As a result, the research firm believes the role of the channel is now more important than ever in delivering support, maintenance and consulting services.
With the emergence of new kinds of managed services, hardware appliances, and security requirements, analysts believe the ability to “connect the dots” will become a key differentiator for channel partners and service providers. Plus, the move from cloud construction – with a focus on technology and infrastructure – to cloud consumption with an emphasis on service choice and delivery increases the importance of established customer relationships and the ability to offer a retail model for cloud.