Melanie Posey of IDC hit the proverbial nail on the head in her guest blog post: “Communications Service Providers (CSPs): Claiming a Seat at the ‘Cloud' Table,” when she pointed out that the ability of CSPs to supply enterprise customers with visibility and control over cloud IT services will be a key driver for gaining the trust and credibility needed to overcome what would otherwise be considered by the enterprise as a risky and unattractive business model.
The best way to overcome the enterprise's concern regarding loss of control is by simply offering them a true “touch and feel” of the cloud-based services. Accomplishing this will require empowering the cloud customer with an online, real-time view of the service–something that, at InfoVista, we call “service visualization.”
With service visualization, cloud customers are given a fully-configurable, self-service interface that allows them to see both abstract and physical resources in context, as well as their availability, performance and relationships. For example, it allows the customer to see the relationship between a virtual machine, its host, its compute resources, the network and even the applications it's hosting in relationship to the network usage and performance. Service visualization can be executed at both a high and a technical level, providing essential visibility to multiple audiences within the enterprise.
In short, the old adage has never been more true when it comes to comfort with cloud-based services–“Seeing is believing!”
As Posey identified, there are many reasons why CSPs have the opportunity to address the needs of the enterprise perhaps better than any other organization in the cloud market. But if CSPs want to truly differentiate by offering unique value to the enterprise, they will do it by offering a unified service level guarantee that includes the critical network component along with service visualization to provide the service's touch and feel. Service visualization can:
- Drive adoption of cloud services
- Differentiate the CSPs' Cloud Carrier and potential Cloud Provider services
- Create added value with “Smart Clouds” that provide additional information on service usage and capacity to the cloud customer
- Increase customer intimacy by enabling the enterprise to properly manage its cloud services and solidify its partnership with the CSP
- Improve operational efficiency and collaboration among the CSPs' operations and engineering teams
Having a unified, extensible and scalable service visualization solution that empowers users with easily configurable and customizable dashboard views and reports makes it possible to truly bridge the gap between network and IT, giving the enterprise the needed proof point that will turn seeing into believing, resulting in the comfortable adoption of the CSP's cloud service offerings.
This post is a part of our continuing Cloud Services Assurance Expert Blog Series featuring contributions from the analysts of IDC.
View part 1: Communications Service Providers (CSPs): Claiming a Seat at the “Cloud” Table by Melanie Posey, Research Vice President, IDC Hosting Infrastructure and Managed Network Services