Traditionally, managed-services providers have focused on running and operating on-premises infrastructures and, more recently, handling IaaS for cloud providers like AWS and Microsoft Azure. By leaving management of their IT ecosystem to expert partners that have delivered similar projects at scale, organization are leveraging best practices and templates to get the most out of cloud and enable greater efficiency, agility, and innovation. But because of the traditional separation between infrastructure and application groups, these teams have operated in a siloed fashion.
But in the cloud-native world, where everything – even infra – is delivered as code, DevOps is the default for application delivery, and IT and business KPIs are one and the same, because the traditional barrier between application and infrastructure teams needs to be broken down. Infrastructure and application-development teams need to work together, and managed services must encompass both.
A cloud-native ecosystem is generally complex and highly distributed, with a sophisticated quilt of interwoven technologies and tools that most organizations – and many legacy managed-services providers – are not equipped to run and maintain. A cloud-native managed-service provider will draw on extensive experience and expertise to support the end-to-end lifecycle management of this ecosystem, which includes code pipeline management, container registries, container platform maintenance, and orchestration. In this complex landscape, managed services provide a high-degree of observability, automations that can detect and self-heal, and site reliability engineering for high availability and performance, all of which are critical in a cloud-native environment.
Cloud-native managed services done right
Cloud-native managed services ensure you realize the full potential of developing and running in the cloud. When done right, cloud-native managed services deliver the following core benefits.
The right mix of opacity and transparency: A good managed-services provider will hide complexity for developers, ensuring that they are able to deploy to PaaS platforms without needing to think through the details of the running environment. While development should be a simplified, “black-box” process during the run phase, managed services should enable a high degree of visibility. A managed services provider will build observability into the front-end of the code at both the infrastructure and applications levels with clear dashboards for monitoring and automations that enable self-healing based on KPIs.
Seamless management: Cloud providers have emerged as essential extensions to enterprise IT infrastructure, providing elasticity on demand and unparalleled presence across geographies. As organizations take advantage of a range of cloud-native services from a variety of cloud providers, it’s important that they’re able to leverage multiple clouds at the same time. Managed-services providers can operate these disparate environments to ensure that functionality remains seamless from one cloud to another.
Security at scale and by design: Though some aspects remain relatively similar, the security and governance required for cloud-native workloads generally differ quite a bit from what is required in a traditional environment. Given the dynamic nature of cloud-native workloads, security needs to be delivered at scale with built-in automation. A managed-services provider will ensure that security is tightly woven into platforms at the architecture level, from service mesh and secret management to fine-grained logging and encryption.
Availability via application-level logic: In traditional IT environments, availability is deployed at the network level via highly scripted load balancers and global DNS solutions while, in a cloud-native environment, workloads are configured with service mesh technology that auto-discovers microservices and automatically reroutes traffic. An experienced service provider will be able to configure and maintain a service mesh.
In short, when implemented correctly, cloud-native managed services help organizations reap the full benefits of developing and running in the cloud: simplicity, observability, scalability, and automation. They allow IT teams to focus on driving business value instead of managing the details of their cloud-native environment. For example, with Capgemini teams managing its environment, a large furniture retailer leveraged DevOps and cloud native to completely transform the e-commerce experience. Additionally, we worked with a hospitality company to manage the DevOps CI/CD frameworks and pipelines across vendors, ultimately helping the organization realize a 10 percent increase in sales, a 20 percent reduction in operational costs, and a 10 percent reduction in development costs.
The potential of cloud-native is clear. With the right managed services in place, organizations can ensure they’re taking full advantage.
For more information, please check out The app-modernization manual: The definitive guide to building intelligent apps from Capgemini, or reach out.