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cloud application workloadsEvery managed service provider is more than aware that application workloads are moving into the cloud in droves. The real issue is what percentage of all enterprise workloads will wind up being deployed on those clouds. A global survey of 400 senior IT professionals published yesterday by Unisys suggests that application workloads will be split evenly across a variety of deployment scenarios.

The survey finds that within the next two years 21 percent of workloads will be running on shared public clouds, and additional 28 percent will be deployed on managed private clouds. Another 13 percent will be running on some form of hybrid cloud, while 9 percent will be deployed within a community cloud shared with other organizations. That leaves 29 percent running in traditional on-premises IT environments.

The report also finds that the rate at which existing applications are being moved into the cloud is substantial. Just under a third (30 percent) of respondents say they are involved in a mass migration, and another 37 percent described their migration as being steady. Only 22 percent describe their migration to the cloud as cautious.

Opportunities and challenges

There’s mixed news for MSPs. A full 68 percent of respondents report enlisting a third-party to help with their migration. But, most of that effort is focused on helping organizations plan and execute a migration. Less than half the respondents say they plan to rely on a third-party for ongoing maintenance of their cloud applications. That may change once more applications get deployed on those public clouds. Half the respondents cite speeding up their application migrations as being their biggest challenge right now. A full 60 percent report that they have encountered roadblocks during a migration, with just under half also experiencing cost overruns.

In general, the respondents make it clear they expect to achieve increased IT flexibility while simultaneously reducing IT costs by making the move to the cloud. The former is almost guaranteed. But the latter will depend on the nature of the application workloads being deployed. A long-running application can still be more expensive to deploy in a cloud than in an on-premises IT environment over a three-year period.

Regardless of where application workloads get deployed, one thing MSPs can count on is that there will soon be many more of them that need to be managed. If developers don’t have to wait for internal IT departments to stand up IT infrastructure, the number of applications any organization is going to be willing to at least experiment with will increase substantially.

The challenge MSPs will face is convincing organizations that they are better equipped to manage those cloud applications than an internal IT organization. The good news is there will be more opportunities to have those conversations, especially with organizations trying to master multi-cloud computing environments. In fact, no matter what, MSPs should end up managing more applications if for no other reason than that the proverbial cloud application pie will continue to grow.

Photo: Your Design/ShutterStock

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Mike Vizard

Posted by Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard has covered IT for more than 25 years, and has edited or contributed to a number of tech publications including InfoWorld, eWeek, CRN, Baseline, ComputerWorld, TMCNet, and Digital Review. He currently blogs for IT Business Edge and contributes to CIOinsight, The Channel Insider, Programmableweb and Slashdot. Mike blogs about emerging cloud technology for Smarter MSP.

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