Today, companies face challenging economic conditions requiring them to understand and integrate evolving technologies while under pressure to do more with less across all business units. Given this urgency and complexity, many of them are turning to managed service providers (MSPs) to get expert advice and augment their existing resources. Even in today’s recessionary market, demand for managed services remains high: One survey from Canalys found that 89% of channel partners that are selling managed services expect this business to grow in 2023. It turns out that it’s because of economic concerns that enterprises are still willing to invest in services that help them manage their digital transformations and overcome complexity.
As infrastructure and workload requirements evolve, opportunities abound for MSPs to function as strategic partners that help CIOs and IT teams focus on developing their competitive advantage. At a minimum, MSPs execute, automate, secure and scale IT infrastructure and operations. At a higher level, they’re responsible for cloud and digital infrastructure management or even cloud repatriation for customers seeking to reduce costs and increase control. The cloud is no longer the only option MSPs recommend to customers that want to transform; transitioning to hosted data centers and a hybrid multicloud architecture offers flexibility on where to position compute, storage and networking infrastructure.
In this blog post, we’ll highlight how MSPs can use digital infrastructure to provide additional strategic value as skill shortages, cost pressures and IT complexity boost demand for managed services.
Deploy distributed digital infrastructure to fast-track innovation
Business environments and needs are constantly changing. This makes it challenging for CIOs to focus on the business without being distracted by concerns about the lack of resources to support IT infrastructure running in on-premises and colocation data centers. As strategic partners, MSPs advise customers on using digital strategies that align with their business models while driving continuous innovation. A recent PwC survey of more than 2,000 business leaders showed that the highest performers were 4.2 times more likely to use MSPs for strategic advantage, beating companies that use them only for cost savings.
MSPs need trusted platforms and tools to run their business efficiently and collaborate with customers to achieve targeted outcomes in the digital economy. Deploying interconnected digital infrastructure on Platform Equinix® equips MSPs to support customers with Equinix colocation and digital infrastructure services. It’s an umbrella for success that provides critical support tools and self-service web portals for instant physical and virtual connections to customers, partners and providers worldwide.
You and your customers can also automate infrastructure provisioning and management with API-enabled Equinix digital services. This includes support for Infrastructure as Code tools such as Terraform, making it possible to deploy and re-deploy digital infrastructure configurations in different locations worldwide while removing the potential for human error.
Simplify complexity and gain flexibility
Helping customers make the right digital infrastructure investments adds tremendous value to those relationships. Deploying and managing digital infrastructure on Platform Equinix elevates your service delivery levels and helps customers advance their digital transformation agendas faster. Let’s look at how Equinix can make a difference for you and your customers.
Flexibility and scalability: On Platform Equinix, you can deliver services customized according to client preferences and requirements. Some customers may want a fully managed service, while others prefer to retain control of certain aspects of their infrastructure.
When you or your customers need access to more than one cloud provider to balance the requirements of different workloads, Equinix Fabric®, our self-service, software-defined interconnection solution, provides 200+ cloud on-ramps to providers such as AWS, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure and Oracle Cloud.
Additionally, when business expands quickly, you can help customers deploy single-tenant bare metal compute and storage capacity on demand. Platform Equinix allows you and your customers to consume compute and storage in a cloud-like manner, without being in the cloud, from a wide range of Equinix partners. This approach delivers the flexibility of CAPEX investments with an OPEX-based cost model. Implementing virtual network functions increases network agility and reduces reliance on physical hardware in the midst of ongoing supply chain delays.
Predictability: MSPs can rely on the consistent performance of a trusted platform that helps them meet their SLAs and provides them with a sense of control, which is extremely important for service delivery. The ability to audit and govern the environment provides metrics that show customers they’re using a platform they can trust and that their data is stored in compliance with data sovereignty regulations. Further, our self-service portal allows MSPs and customers to select the speed and bandwidth that meets specific connectivity requirements.
Ecosystems: Digital ecosystems drive greater business value for all involved. The diverse and growing Equinix digital ecosystems include industry ecosystems, service provider ecosystems (such as cloud, networking, IaaS and SaaS solutions), data exchanges and marketplaces. The proximity to thousands of service providers and cloud hyperscalers can be instrumental in making your solutions more scalable, flexible and reliable while improving application performance and connecting your customers with the right partners.
Networking: Private connectivity on Platform Equinix includes a combination of physical and virtual connection options. You can link physical hardware to another customer, partner or provider in data centers located within a metro via fiber or software-defined interconnection. Or you can set up direct connections to multiple carrier networks in the same or connected data centers.
Use cases confirm the value-add of MSPs and digital infrastructure
Companies across various industries find that partnering with MSPs gives them access to skilled talent that can be challenging to hire for and expertise that can be extremely valuable when expanding into new countries or regions.
Overcoming talent skills gap and supply chain delays: Businesses often struggle to attract and retain talent with the right skill sets, given the rapid pace at which the technology industry is changing. Also, acquiring physical hardware translates to months of waiting for delivery. Partnering with MSPs provides customers with access to necessary IT resources, and deploying Equinix digital services reduces reliance on physical hardware and the associated infrastructure investments.
Meeting sustainability requirements: When businesses expand into new countries and regions, they must comply with new sustainability reporting requirements. These regulations and requirements are particularly pervasive in the EU but are increasingly popping up worldwide. For example, in the EU, the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) standardizes corporate sustainability disclosure for a broad range of businesses including large enterprises, listed small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and global entities operating in Europe—totaling approximately 50,000 companies.
Businesses want to engage with partners and vendors that can meet their standards for emissions reductions. As a supplier, Equinix helps MSPs and their customers meet net-zero goals as we continue decarbonizing our operations and therefore our customers’ supply chains by adopting science-based targets across our 250 International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers. In 2022, we achieved 96% renewables coverage across our global operations—our furthest progress yet toward our goal of 100% coverage by 2030.
How Equinix can help MSPs
Companies across multiple industries need to modernize their infrastructure and future-proof their business to ready themselves for continued success in the always-on digital economy. MSPs tend to focus on specific verticals—such as financial services, healthcare, legal, manufacturing and retail—to provide unique value rather than attempting to gain expertise across many industries. Equinix enables solutions for specific verticals that help MSPs and customers manage and solve their top challenges: cost of performance, the ability to audit and govern the environment, and interconnecting to the ecosystem.
Platform Equinix helps MSPs thrive in a vendor-neutral, secure colocation environment, while helping their customers use global digital infrastructure to distribute their IT delivery off-premises, across multiple clouds and at the edge.
Read our white paper Create digital advantage at software speed to learn more about how Equinix can help MSPs overcome complexity and add strategic value to their customer relationships.
You may also be interested in searching our Partner Directory for managed service providers that can help your business distribute IT delivery off-premises.
 Robin Ody, Partners are more bullish on managed services in 2023, Canalys, June 20, 2023.
 Lang Davison, David Allen, Nikki Parham and Wayne Borchardt, Beyond the back office: How managed services partnership drive outperformance, PWC, July 12, 2023.
 Directive (EU) 2022/2464 of the European Parliament…as regards corporate sustainability reporting, Official Journal of the European Union, December 16, 2022.