November 14, 2023

5 min

3 Ways a Managed Service Provider Must Support Multicloud Environments

Is your organization considering an MSP for your multicloud environment? Here are three things you need to know.

Organizations across the globe have moved to the cloud, and many find themselves stretched thin to support and maintain their multicloud environments. However, if your organization seeks to shift your attention and workforce to driving business value, considering a managed service provider (MSP) for your multicloud environment can be the key to unlocking your team’s capabilities.

Before you hire an MSP, let’s dive into three ways an MSP should support your multicloud environment.

1. Competent professionals: When managing an organization’s cloud environments, it is imperative MSPs have competent professionals who are well-versed in the clouds they’re managing. There are three major hyperscalers in the market, with AWS being the most popular, followed by Azure and Google Cloud Platform.

CDW is among the select few companies worldwide holding the MSP certification for all three major hyperscalers. This means that if you're looking for a team of professionals who have been certified by the leading cloud providers and have proven their competence in handling workloads in their respective environments, the options are limited, and CDW is one of them. The certification is highly exclusive. Therefore, you can see why it's critical to have an MSP with the necessary experience and competence; it's rare to have a skillset backed by the cloud providers themselves.

Many MSPs claim that they can take on an organization's environment and quickly hire staff to meet their needs, but this approach is not ideal. You need a team of professionals with diverse skills and expertise. Integrating another service like AWS can be challenging for a company specializing in one cloud service, such as Azure. The technical process of deploying AWS may not be compatible with the existing Azure infrastructure.

However, having separate silos is not always a bad thing. For instance, CDW manages cloud services and has three distinct silos, as each cloud service, whether it's AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud Platform, requires specific expertise and execution. If an MSP fails to understand these distinctions, it won't be competent enough to manage a multicloud environment.

Many MSPs follow a standard process for alerting notifications and handling calls to resolve issues. However, when it comes to practical application, there is a lot of diversity. To be successful, an MSP needs to have proficiency in various environments and platforms, allowing organizations to manage a multicloud environment from a single control panel.

2. Competent tooling: Competent tooling at the presentation layer is crucial for an MSP. How an MSP presents information to your organization and the type of information they provide should allow you to view basic metrics such as cost and number of virtual machines. However, when it comes to more complex services and cloud billing, things can get overwhelming. That's why having a competent presentation layer that can differentiate between various services and consolidate them into a common reporting system is essential.

CDW's Inscape product for multicloud management is an excellent example of robust intellectual property. One of the best things about this product is that CDW has little technical debt. This allows CDW's Inscape team to quickly add features that are important to users, making the system more agile. This agility can provide value to your organization with unique features such as an enterprise discount plan burned down, which is not available in the market.

When committing to a provider like Google or entering electronic data processing (EDP), or private pricing agreement with Amazon or Azure, organizations are often required to spend a certain amount of money. Therefore, it is helpful to know if you are underrunning or overrunning.

If you’re underrunning what you must pay, you can add workloads to the cloud and utilize that obligation. On the other hand, if you are overrunning, you must be able to throttle it. Brokering is necessary in this case, which involves deciding to move things from one cloud to another, either to reduce expenses or to choose a more suitable application.

Additionally, competent tooling should allow all users to have a common experience regardless of department. Whether your organization’s procurement, technical or finance department needs information from the MSP, they should be able to access it easily.

3. Competent security practice: For an MSP to be effective, it is essential to have a team of highly skilled security experts. Additionally, they need to have professional services capabilities that demonstrate a deep understanding of security across all platforms, clouds, larger computer ecosystems, the internet, and all the other compute endpoints in the world, including endpoint devices.

When selecting an MSP, it is essential to inquire about the expertise of their professionals. For instance, at CDW, a global cloud architect, which is the highest-level engineer at CDW that requires extensive knowledge and training, must be a certified expert in the specific cloud they are working with and possess third-party security certification. They must also be knowledgeable about all aspects of security.

Compliance is also an essential part of having a competent security practice. When your organization has a conversation about security with an MSP, you should also have a business resilience and economy discussion. When you opt for security services from a public cloud provider, your organization may receive certain security and compliance certifications that would otherwise involve additional expenses. This includes ISO certifications, HIPAA high-trust, FedRAMP, and more. If you have a competent security posture in place, your organization’s IT team can focus on improving other areas of the business.

Managing a multicloud environment is difficult, but you don’t have to do it alone. In fact, support is essential. If you’re ready to explore what CDW Managed Services can do for your multicloud environment, visit our website, or call 800-800-4239.

Steve Dowling

Practice VP of Cloud Managed Services
Steve Dowling, CDW's Practice VP of Cloud-Managed Services, came through the acquisition of Sirius Computer Solutions, where he served as VP of Cloud. With 13+ years in executive roles, he innovates public cloud services delivery, ensuring end-to-end client support, from design to full environment management.