Content access and management has become an important part of a complete cloud offering for any managed service provider. Understanding the history of the move to “the cloud” sheds some light on why this is the case.
The move to the cloud is well underway within enterprises. The early focus ofthis transition was the migration of applications to the cloud. In fact, when the movement to the cloud started, the application was really all that existed. At that point in time, the content created by applications generally lived in repositories created by and tightly tethered to the applications, so the applications and the content were almost considered one and the same.So it makes sense that the managed service providers that serve enterprises initially focused on moving applications to the cloud.
But in recent years, we have seen a decoupling of applications and the content that they create. Applications still have attached content repositories. But increasingly the content is becoming dispersed across a variety of storage locations that include application-specific repositories, private enterprise storage and public cloud storage services.Content is even leaking outside of the enterprise perimeter and into individual cloud storage accounts.
This change has been driven by employees taking advantage of new technologies to maximize productivity and convenience in an increasingly mobile/BYOD work environment. It is this decoupling of cloud applications and content that has driven the need for MSPs to provide a content access and management solution as part of their menu of cloud services. Outsourcing, management, security and control for applications without addressing the related content are incomplete solutions. MSPs must add content access and management to their service portfolio to fully address customer needs.
The starting point for an MSP isunderstanding the business needs for content access and management. The basic needs include: