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5 Challenges for Cloud Service Providers: Tips to Overcome Them

26/04/2021 | Blog

The expansion of the cloud has brought increased opportunities and challenges for cloud service providers. Security and governance, billing, compliance, and infrastructure are only some considerations that big and small CSPs face daily. In this post, we discuss the top five challenges and how to handle them.

The State of the Cloud, 2021

Cloud computing adoption has grown steadily in the last few years, but the events of 2020 gave cloud services a boost. As more companies were driven by the necessity to adopt cloud technologies, the acceleration revealed some trends that are worth looking into.

More companies plan to expand their cloud usage
Cloud computing adoption has grown steadily in the last few years, but the events of 2020 gave cloud services a boost. As more companies were driven by the necessity to adopt cloud technologies, the acceleration revealed some trends that are worth looking into.

Planned Cloude Usage Covid

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Half of small- and medium-sized businesses spend less than $1 million a year on cloud services
Small businesses have significantly lower cloud bills due to fewer workloads in the cloud. Even so, a third of them spend between $1 million and $12 million.

Cloud Spend by orgs

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Most companies use a hybrid of public and private cloud
Companies have embraced hybrid and multi-cloud environments. While many respondents choose either private or public cloud, most companies use a combination.

types of Clouds Used

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Opportunities for Cloud Service Providers

Organizations are embracing digital transformation, increasingly adopting cloud-based services and applications. Since the cloud is critical to achieving digital transformation goals, companies need solutions that help them keep up with their cloud security and compliance needs.

There are many considerations involved in migrating to the cloud. Companies may ask some of these questions:

  • How can infrastructure security and compliance be ensured?
  • How are cloud costs controlled?
  • Will the cloud provider maintain the uptime standards?
  • Can the cloud provider provide timely technical support?
  • Will the cloud solution work with legacy systems?

Companies rely on strategic partners to align cloud solutions to their business requirements, so opportunities for cloud service providers are growing. “Frost & Sullivan expects global Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) market revenues to increase by 27% compound annual growth rate through 2023.” (Frost & Sullivan)

This means that Microsoft CSPs have a great market opportunity. However, there are some challenges to consider when becoming a Microsoft CSP.

Top 5 Challenges for Cloud Service Providers

When starting as a Microsoft CSP or after offering the services for a while, there are some challenges to consider:

1. Billing automation

Most cloud provider services work under a subscription model. While this gives users flexibility, it also means CSPs need to bill customers according to their usage. Microsoft CSPs can offer customers the chance to pay monthly, annually, or per usage.

All these potential combinations make cloud billing very complex, which can get even more complicated according to the type of service. Therefore, leveraging an automated invoicing tool for CSPs can be a solution.

2. Keep up with evolving technologies and know-how

New MS CSPs may have the technical knowledge but knowing how to provide value with cloud services to customers is another thing entirely. This lack of expertise can sometimes make it difficult to manage new integrations and evolving technologies. Automation can help overcome this challenge, allowing providers to manage different integrations and adapt to emerging developments.

3. Compliance and multi-currency

The cloud offers benefits such as scalability, convenience, and disaster recovery. However, as the cloud grows, so does the need to keep the data and services in the cloud secure.

Security is a shared responsibility of the cloud provider and the customer. Maintaining storage, infrastructure, and network security lies with the cloud provider while controlling identity and access usually falls to the customer. Moreover, compliance with data privacy regulations is required to provide cloud security for customers. Therefore, baking security into cloud service offerings is a good practice. For that, consider a cloud management solution.

A cloud management solution can also help when dealing with billing in multiple currencies. Instead of having the customer figure out the exchange rate, the offers can be set so they show in the customer’s local currency. This automation helps customers know exactly what they are going to pay.

4. Provisioning Everything-as-a-Service

Your customers may require Microsoft Cloud provisioning services, which brings its own set of challenges, like managing cloud costs and ISV services, and integrating IaaS, SaaS, and DaaS.

The right cloud services platform can automate and streamline the way your customers order cloud services. That means you can sell any service regardless of the cloud.

5. Manage multiple vendors

One of the hardest cloud computing challenges is how to manage multiple cloud solutions from different vendors. Customers will look for CSPs that provide an all-in-one solution for IT service delivery. This will help them move towards quick implementations and streamlined offers.

For CSPs, leveraging an automation solution can help keep the focus on offering the kind of multi-cloud services customers demand.

The Bottom Line

Leveraging a one-stop solution can be the best choice to overcome common challenges for CSPs. A fully custom-branded marketplace allows customers to effortlessly order and provision cloud services, managing billing, integration, and automatic updates.

interworks.cloud CSP platform offers billing automation, cloud provisioning, integrations, and cloud management, in an all-in-one solution.

Learn more about how interworks.cloud can help streamline your MS CSP business. Get in touch and book your demo today.