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Public Cloud Infrastructure Operations and Management Is a Shared Responsibility Model

by Rene Buest  |  December 14, 2018  |  1 Comment

Thousands of successful projects and customer cases show an ever-expanding maturity concerning the understanding of how public cloud infrastructure environments like the ones of hyperscale providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform (GCP) work. However, many end-user organizations still put public cloud IaaS into the same bucket as classic outsourcing. In other words, they expect that public cloud IaaS providers are full service providers and the IT department just needs to manage them like a traditional outsourcing provider in the past. They underestimate the initial and ongoing implications of the shared responsibility model.

By 2023, 50% of enterprises will utilize a cloud managed service provider to run some portion of their hyperscale cloud deployments, up from less than 20% in 2018.

Gartner frequently experiences this “ah-ha” moment for a big number of clients, while explaining to them that public cloud IaaS is about a shared responsibility model. Here the provider and the client are splitting the work of running and maintaining the different parts of the infrastructure stack, like the virtual infrastructure and the applications that are deployed on top of the infrastructure.

Exploiting public cloud IaaS, a customer gets the autonomy to access an infrastructure “playground” where they can build a virtual infrastructure environment that fits to their specific needs and supports their tailored digital operations. The public cloud IaaS provider (hyperscale provider) enables the customer to build, operate and maintain this infrastructure environment and every digital workload that runs on top of it, but the execution belongs 100% to the customer.

The majority of cloud managed service providers understand this concept, but do not do a good job of realizing how important this is that clients understand it or helping them navigate it. This leads to customer satisfaction issues, bad projects and cloud being considered as “being too hard.”

However, understanding of the shared responsibility model is imperative for a successful, secure cloud and digital transformation projects, and future growth of public cloud IaaS.

Tech CEOs of cloud managed service providers must seize this opportunity. They must take responsibility for proactively educating customers and prospects about the value of a managed service provider that can manage the client’s responsibility of public cloud IaaS operations and management.

In the research note “Tech CEOs Must Exploit the Public Cloud IaaS Shared Responsibility Model to Their Advantage”, we discuss in detail how cloud managed service providers should educate their customers on the unique characteristics of public cloud IaaS, which clearly differentiates from traditional outsourcing.

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Rene Buest
Research Director
2 years at Gartner
21 years IT Industry

Rene Buest is a Senior Director, Analyst in Gartner's Tech CEO Research and Advisory team. Primary research coverage is infrastructure services and digital operations as well as managed services and intelligent automation. Read Full Bio

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