The rising demand from enterprises to take services over to Microsoft Azure is giving local managed service providers (MSPs) a leg up in the market, while major global players fight each other for market share.
This is according to research and advisory firm Information Services Group (ISG), which claimed that local Microsoft partners are expected to expand their service portfolios over the next five years.
This expansion in service portfolios, the firm claimed in its 2021 ISG Provider Lens Microsoft Ecosystem report for Australia, comes to meet the demands of enterprises for increased usage of hyperscale cloud platforms, as they look to cut costs and increase agility.
In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the demand for cloud migrations even further, as well as the Australian government’s plans in 2020 to move to an Azure-based records management system.
“As Microsoft’s product set evolves, the opportunities for both its global and local ecosystem partners in Australia are growing,” said Scott Bertsch, partner and regional leader at ISG Asia Pacific.
“Several major providers of implementation and support for Microsoft solutions, including Azure, Office 365, Dynamics 365 and SAP on Azure, are emerging from the local market.”
The increase in Azure demand, however, comes as ISG claims the country faces a “shortage of Azure-certified resources and expertise” in select areas, flagging cyber security as one category in particular. This is particularly noteworthy to the firm as it claims another driver behind the Azure enterprise uptake is the threat of ransomware.
Australian organisations are also selective as to what elements they would like to take to the cloud, with ISG claiming they want to pick and choose which applications to move to the cloud.
In addition to the cloud, other areas in which Australian enterprises are predicted to become more interested include the internet of things (IoT), advanced data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI). However, the report claimed the key in integrating all these technologies lies with the latter.
“As Microsoft continues to evolve its AI development and implementation strategy for Azure, managed service providers will need to invest more in AI-related capabilities and training to remain qualified to implement these features,” ISG claimed.