Managed Services and Cloud Services are Different
Looking for IT services in the Cloud and expecting that the provider will be responsible for all the attendant care and administration of the services you are using may be a mistake. Take a cloud-based backup service like online backup and recovery. To fit the definition of a cloud solution – it must be specific in purpose and provide a user interface to access and administer the offering via the Internet.
There are other characteristics like pooled and shared resources, utility billing, etc. but that could be for later discussion. In many cases you can leverage the characteristics of the cloud with professional services provided by managed service providers. I like to differentiate our approach as providing managed services leveraging the cloud. We add our brand of value-add services above and beyond providing, in this case, the storage capacity and backup software in the cloud in our monthly fee. A managed service around cloud backup might include daily checking the status of the jobs, setting up and discontinuing existing jobs, troubleshooting job failures, and doing restores as required.
The managed approach is designed to provide the buyer with expertise specific to the solution and to elevate the burden on internal resources. If you just bought the cloud offering – then you, the buyer still own all the attendant responsibilities while the cloud provider is to provide the tool set with a user interface on the Web. So when you’re evaluating cloud architected solutions, be sure to find out if there are other services available that make up the offering – you could find it most beneficial.