Public cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) provide software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies, especially early-stage startups, with several benefits and scope to scale as the business grows.
Public cloud providers own servers, storage, and all cloud resources. This allows early-stage SaaS companies to benefit from low entry costs, high reliability, and scalability. So it’s no surprise that enterprise storage spending on the public cloud has increased dramatically over the last few years. According to Gartner, cloud spending will make up 14.2% of the global IT enterprise spending market by 2024, increasing from 9.1% in 2020. A Flexera 2021 State of the Cloud Report also found that most companies have a multi-cloud strategy — running an average of four public clouds and five private clouds.
However, despite the touted benefits of public clouds, there are storage management and maintenance challenges as a SaaS company grows. Managing a single cloud is complex, and multi-cloud is a serious distraction from the company’s core business. In addition, it is impractical to manage multiple providers and applications across several platforms.
Also read: Mapping Out a Hybrid Multicloud Strategy
Challenges of In-House Management of Cloud Environments
Most SaaS companies lack the expertise, tools, and procedures to successfully operate cloud environments. According to a recent survey of 1,900 IT and security professionals by The Cloud Security Alliance and Algosec, 32% of respondents reported not having adequate staff to manage cloud environments, while 47% of respondents said they lacked the necessary cloud expertise.
This finding also means that SaaS companies that manage their public cloud in-house are vulnerable to security breaches. Public cloud providers may have internal safeguards to protect from hacks or threats, but there are always vulnerabilities and single points of failure in any system.
These challenges are further compounded by the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic led to greater demand for cloud services — 92% of companies have now adopted a multi-cloud strategy.
SaaS companies can mitigate all of these challenges by outsourcing the storage management of their public clouds to an experienced cloud management service provider. Below are three reasons to outsource the management of your public cloud to a managed cloud provider.
The cost of managing public cloud infrastructure can quickly build up. This is because most SaaS companies need to maintain at least two teams: one for application development and one for IT operations.
In addition, the vast array of pricing packages, options, and service add ons of public cloud platforms are often confusing. As a result, settling on the most suitable configuration can be daunting. According to Flexera, up to 30% of cloud spend is wasted because companies don’t have clear visibility of their purchases.
Storage management costs include the tools required to effectively manage cloud resources (migration tools, security software) and the time spent away from the core business.
Cloud management services can help businesses eliminate these challenges by allocating funds for only what’s needed at a particular time. Professional public cloud managers also automate routine administrative tasks and optimize the day-to-day management of the cloud.
Further cost savings are achieved by not hiring an in-house public cloud management team — the human resource savings are especially substantial. For example, the average salary of an AWS-certified IT professional in North America is about $130,000 (minus benefits). In contrast, managed cloud providers provide a variety of flexible pricing options such as an all-inclusive fixed fee, hourly models, retainer with set hours, and base fee plus hourly, which result in considerable savings for SaaS companies.
Public cloud platforms also lack the expertise SaaS companies need. Public cloud management platforms are designed to solve specific problems and cater to a wide range of customers with different requirements at different stages of maturity.
To effectively manage their cloud, SaaS businesses need in-depth domain knowledge and an understanding when and how to apply best practices in public cloud management. Public cloud management platforms are designed to support cloud operations and avoid downtime, but they cannot anticipate future requirements or create a cloud strategy.
In contrast, managed cloud providers have deep expertise to provide cloud strategy guidance, cloud transition consulting, cloud readiness assessments, cloud operations maintenance and support, and cloud security services.
Disaster recovery, backups, and continuity
For SaaS companies, business continuity is critical. Downtime is unacceptable. If your customers can’t access your applications you risk losing them to your competitors, especially if the downtime becomes a frequent occurrence.
Cloud management providers monitor your public cloud constantly to ensure high availability. This process involves having a solid back and disaster recovery strategy for your public cloud.
In addition, cloud management companies put in place policies and procedures to mitigate the risk of data breaches, security incidents, and disasters. They also put in place the necessary architecture to guarantee continuity and data recovery.
Disaster recovery is a complex process involving various components and technologies. Cloud management providers have the expertise in this area to guard against downtime and reduce risks by setting up multiple data centers, utilizing virtualization technology, using tools that automate disaster recovery procedures, and having strong governance policies for preventing data breaches.
Key Outsourcing Takeaways
As business moves to the cloud, it is more important than ever to ensure your public cloud environment is managed professionally. Cloud management services can help with many of the challenges associated with public cloud management.
Outsourcing the management of your public cloud can help you free up valuable time and resources. You’ll get access to a team with expert knowledge, experience, and scalability without having to invest in infrastructure or staff training. And if disaster strikes, even a natural one, your data will be safe since it’s not stored on-premises.
SaaS company managers are always looking for ways to improve the efficiency of their operations while freeing up more time and resources. Outsourcing the management of their public cloud is an excellent way to do both.