There has been a lot of uptake in Cloud and Managed Services offerings over the last few years. This brings a wealth of options for organizations looking to leverage service providers whose primary business is to provide world class IT service and solutions to market. While some prefer to continue performing IT management in house, some are looking at these outsourced solutions to help benefit their business, add dollars to their bottom line, and hedge against what is a very real labour shortage in the IT management space.

I like to use the analogy of landscaping and lawn maintenance for the cloud and managed services.

Take, for example, buying and storing a lawnmower and weed whacker in your garage.  You would go out every couple of weeks and maintain your yard.  As time progresses, you need to service the mower, and after a few years replace it.  Your time becomes more and more valuable as the years go by, and you decide to get a teenager in the household, or a neighborhood kid to mow the lawn for you, paying them a fee to use your equipment.  This is what I would call Managed Services.  Hiring a professional to maintain your own IT infrastructure.

Perhaps you replace the equipment every few years; until a time comes that you don’t want to make that investment anymore.  So you reach out to a service whose responsibility it is to mow and maintain your lawn with their equipment.  They are responsible for procuring and maintaining the mowers and trimmers, and provide qualified staff to perform the service of keeping your yard in top shape.  This is what I call Managed Cloud Services.

We all utilize these types of services, and I’m glad to see that it’s now moved into the IT space as a bona-fide option for a many companies.  Focus on what’s important to you and your business and let the experts take care of what is not.

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