Digital transformation requires innovation across the spectrum of how digital services are developed, supported and delivered. As a result, businesses are adopting a wide range of new technologies and approaches.
In the application economy, the market victors will be the ones that are built to change. They’ll be the ones that can sense and quickly respond to changing market dynamics. They’ll be the ones that can deliver innovative applications that offer a compelling user experience—and continuously improve that experience. They’ll be the ones that bring innovations to market faster. They’ll be the ones leveraging more data to fuel better decisions and service offerings. They’ll be the ones wringing maximum returns from their infrastructures and investments.
It is only through digital transformation that businesses can become built to change. (For more information on this new built-to-change imperative, see the recent announcement on our CEO’s keynote speech at the recent CA World event. Digital transformation requires innovation across the spectrum of how digital services are developed, supported and delivered. As a result, businesses are adopting a wide range of new technologies and approaches. The following sections highlight five of the most significant, change-enabling technologies.
Five Paradigm-Shifting Technologies and Services--and Why You Should Care
1. Amazon Web Services
- What it is. Amazon Web Services (AWS) delivers virtualized cloud infrastructures that enable computing to be consumed as a service. The company offers complete infrastructure services, including computing, storage, content delivery, database management and networking. In addition, the company has continued to expand its offerings, which now include complete platforms, management tools and industry-specific solutions.
- How it’s fueling digital transformation. Through its cloud services, AWS is enabling customers across a range of industries to pursue their digital transformation initiatives, enabling breakthrough advances in such areas as big data, machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), API management, DevOps and mobile services.
- Why the opportunity is so significant. Since its founding in 2006, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has emerged as the largest provider of cloud services. The organization offers the most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform, with more than 1 million active customers in 190 countries.1 AWS accounts for 45 percent of the global public infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) market, while the next three companies combined account for less than half that amount.2
- What it is. When leveraging containers, code is packaged with all required dependencies and configurations, so it is self-contained and portable. One reason for containers' rapidly growing popularity is that they offer organizations a number of significant advantages over virtualization. Containers share some system resources, which makes them leaner and reduces system overhead. Compared to virtualized services, containers can be spun up and copied more quickly, enabling faster and easier scaling.
- How it’s fueling digital transformation. Through its container solutions, Docker is squarely addressing a lot of fundamental requirements for digital transformation. The company’s platform sits at the center of three foundational aspects of modern application development strategy: the moves to the cloud, microservices and DevOps. By coupling the advantages of containers with all these approaches, organizations can realize the most compelling gains in a range of areas, including improved business agility, faster innovation, greater flexibility and enhanced operational efficiency.
- Why the opportunity is so significant. Today, Docker is the leading provider of container technologies. Over the course of the prior two years, 450 million people have downloaded Docker’s open source software.3 Docker has emerged as the dominant container engine technology, with 94% of container users saying they employ Docker products.4
- What it is. Hyperconverged infrastructure solutions from Nutanix provide complete, pre-integrated computing stacks that include networking, computing, virtualization and even applications—all in a single, unified package that is supported by a single vendor.
- How it’s fueling digital transformation. Organizations that leverage hyperconverged infrastructures are better equipped to pursue digital transformation initiatives. Customers that leverage these alternatives report better application uptime, faster implementation of new applications and easier incorporation of new technologies into their environments. Nutanix delivers complete solutions for virtual desktop infrastructures, private clouds, big data and more.
- Why the opportunity is so significant. Within a few years, Nutanix has emerged as one of the leading providers of hyperconverged infrastructure solutions. More than 3,700 customers have adopted Nutanix solutions. Between the 2015 and 2016 fiscal years, the company saw 106 percent growth in billings.5
- What it is. OpenStack software enables organizations to instantly deploy virtual machines and other resources required to manage and operate a cloud environment. OpenStack software can control large pools of computing, storage and networking resources across a data center, and enable administrators to manage these resources through a dashboard or API.
- How it’s fueling digital transformation. OpenStack gives organizations an improved ability to support digital transformation initiatives. Customers use OpenStack to fuel innovation in such areas as DevOps, private and public cloud services, e-commerce and network function virtualization.
- Why the opportunity is so significant. In recent years, OpenStack has emerged as one of the leading alternatives for creating cloud environments. In the past few years, the adoption of OpenStack software has continued to expand and become an increasingly integral foundation of production deployments. Between 2013 and 2016, the percentage of customers that had OpenStack in production grew from 32 to 65 percent.6
5. Pure Storage
- What it is. Pure Storage delivers innovative storage solutions that were architected from the beginning to maximize the advantages of flash-based arrays. Compared to traditional disk-based storage approaches, Pure Storage solutions offer a number of inherent advantages, including smaller space and power requirements, higher scalability and faster performance.
- How it’s fueling digital transformation. In the application economy, the ability to deliver fast, resilient access to data stores will be essential in enabling digital transformation initiatives. For example, to support the dynamic nature of new private cloud infrastructures, storage systems will need to become much more agile and elastic. In addition, storage evolution will be key to supporting big data implementations, Internet of Things initiatives, virtual desktop infrastructures and more., Consequently, flash-based storage technologies have quickly emerged as a must-have standard for organizations pursuing digital transformation.
- Why the opportunity is so significant. The adoption of flash-based storage is seeing explosive growth—especially in comparison to traditional storage solutions. Overall, compared to the first quarter of 2015, worldwide enterprise storage revenue declined seven percent during the first quarter of 2016. During the same period, the all-flash array market was up 87.4 percent. Pure Storage is a recognized leader in this segment. In four years of selling into the storage market, Pure Storage has emerged as a top 10 vendor worldwide, and is growing about 10 times faster than the rest of the competitors in that list.8 Channel partners accounted for 80 percent of new customer wins in the company’s most recent quarter, and the top five partners are seeing triple-digit annual growth in their Pure Storage business.9
Why Emerging Technologies are Fueling Increased Demand for MSPs
The five services and technologies above are fueling increasing demand—and massive opportunities—for MSPs. The following sections outline why.
Emerging Skills and Knowledge Gaps
While the adoption of these technologies and approaches has been widespread, they still represent new environments, and these offerings continue to evolve quickly. Acquiring and retaining internal staff that have the necessary expertise in these emerging systems can be difficult for internal enterprise IT teams. That’s why these emerging technologies will lead to increased reliance on MSPs.
The Criticality of Optimized Service Levels
Once organizations start to run the technologies above in production, these services become critical to business success. If these platforms encounter downtime or performance issues, it can have an immediate and significant impact on customer-facing services, workplace productivity and company revenues.
Consequently, establishing effective, continuous monitoring of these environments is critical. IT staff members need to constantly monitor their implementations so they can identify bottlenecks and fix issues. To be effective, organizations need to gain robust capabilities for tracking and managing performance, availability, utilization and end-user service levels.
While there may be specific monitoring tools for each of the technologies outlined above, the reality is that organizations are typically running a mix of virtualization, private cloud and traditional infrastructures—and they have tools in place for monitoring these different environments. If an organization adds monitoring tools specifically for AWS, Docker, Nutanix, OpenStack or Pure Storage, the result will be multiple, isolated monitoring tools, which presents a number of challenges—including disjointed alerting, time-consuming troubleshooting, limited insights for tracking and optimizing the end-user experience and a lack of holistic insights for capacity planning.
The Managed Monitoring Services Opportunities
By working with MSPs to get assistance with the emerging technologies listed above, enterprises will be able to realize a number of advantages. By leveraging the services and expertise of MSPs, organizations can realize faster onboarding, gain access to proven reference architectures and avoid common pitfalls.
MSPs that gain the necessary expertise can work with organizations that have already implemented these emerging technologies, and those that have yet to do so. For organizations that have yet to deploy these offerings, service providers can deliver initial consulting and engagement services, helping with such efforts as evaluating various solutions, architecting implementations and planning and managing deployments.
Ongoing managed monitoring services can represent a great complement to these offerings. In addition, these monitoring services can be an optimal way for service providers to gain entry into organizations that already have implemented these solutions. As a result, delivering managed monitoring services will enable service providers to enhance offerings, expand markets and deepen account penetration.
Regardless of the markets you serve, chances are good that the customers you work with have implemented, or will soon adopt, solutions from AWS, Docker, Nutanix, OpenStack or Pure Storage. By establishing managed monitoring services around these offerings, your business can provide significant value—and help accelerate customers’ digital transformation. Through these services, your organization can expand its revenues, margins and market share.
CA has recently published several new white papers that offer MSPs comprehensive information on the managed monitoring services opportunities that MSPs can capitalize on today. These white papers offer an in-depth look at market drivers, customer challenges and the specific service offerings that MSPs can deliver.
These resources also offer an introduction to CA Unified Infrastructure Management (CA UIM) and show how the solution offers unified coverage of AWS, Docker, Nutanix, OpenStack and Pure Storage environments, plus more than 140 other technologies and services. With these capabilities, CA UIM can help MSPs deliver advanced managed monitoring service offerings that provide significant value—and help accelerate customers’ digital transformation.
To learn more about these opportunities, be sure to download the following white papers:
- Amazon Web Services Monitoring
- Docker Monitoring
- Nutanix Monitoring
- OpenStack Monitoring
- Pure Storage Monitoring
Ken Vanderweel is senior director, service provider solutions marketing, CA Technologies.
1. E-Commerce Times, “AWS Enjoys Top Perch in IaaS, PaaS Markets,” David Jones, November 17, 2016, URL:
2. E-Commerce Times, “AWS Enjoys Top Perch in IaaS, PaaS Markets,” David Jones, November 17, 2016, URL:
4. DevOps.com and ClusterHQ, “Container Market Adoption: Survey, 2016”
5. Business Insider, “Nutanix, last valued at $2 billion, just indicated its stalled IPO might soon be back on,” Eugene Kim, September 13, 2016
6. OpenStack, “OpenStack User Survey: A snapshot of OpenStack users’ attitudes and deployments,” April 2016
8. The Register, “Q. What do you call a sales-growing letdown? A. Pure Storage,” Chris Mellor, May 26, 20169. ChannelE2E, “Pure Storage Earnings: Partners Drive 80% of New Wins,” Joe Panettieri, August 25, 2016