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Why Moving To The Cloud ‘To Save A Bunch Of Money’ Isn’t The Answer, Says Cloud MSP Superstar Cascadeo

Mark Haranas

Cascadeo President and cloud guru Jared Reimer explains the right and wrong reasons companies are moving to the public cloud, as well as why fighting cloud platform adoption is ‘like fighting gravity.’

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Businesses whose primary goal is to save money by moving to the public cloud most likely “haven’t done the math correctly,” said cloud expert and Cascadeo President Jared Reimer.

Organizations of all shapes and sizes are, or will eventually, become cloud-first businesses, but the reason will not be about pure IT budget costs savings—it’s about enabling businesses to do more with less. Customers that are embracing cloud migration as more of a “mandate” compared with just kicking the tires are “winning” against their competition.

“So people who say, ‘We’re going to move to cloud because it’s going to save a bunch of money’ probably are wrong and haven’t done the math correctly,” said Reimer, who is also co-founder of Cascadeo, one of Amazon Web Services’ top channel partners. “People who say, ‘We’re going to move to cloud because it’s strategic, it’s transformational and it’s going to unlock all sorts of new things that our customers are going to want or require of us in the future, this is a must-win, it’s a C-level mandate,’—those are the customers that we love working with and are winning in the market against their competition.”

[Related: Google Cloud Price Increases, New Fees And Features: 5 Big Things To Know]

Although public cloud can be pricey, businesses that make cloud migration and adoption their No. 1 priority are able to do more high-level work with fewer technology risks, scaling concerns and can spend more time focused on solving business outcomes.

“Because they’re the ones that are going to make the investment, the headspace and the time to do the bigger and harder things, like build on top of serverless, for example. That’s a big thing that a lot of people now are saying, ‘This is amazing. You can do 10 times the work with one-tenth of the code and risk and cost and scaling concerns. It’s completely transformational,’” said Reimer. “The customers who leverage that fully have a competitive advantage over everyone else in their space.”

Cascadeo’s AWS sales are expected to climb more than 33 percent in 2022 compared with 2021. Each year, the Mercer Island, Wash.-based solution provider has grown revenue thanks to more and more customers betting on the cloud versus building a traditional on-premises IT environment. Cascadeo made CRN’s 2022 Elite 150 list, which highlights some of the most innovative and fastest-growing MSPs.

Fighting Cloud Adoption ‘Is Like Fighting Gravity’

The Cascadeo customers that are “winning” with cloud providers like AWS are the ones who are building it high up in the technology stack, Reimer said..

“Because you can just do so much more with so much less time and effort, and energy, and risk, and delay and security concerns, operations concerns—you can push off a lot of the make-work and toil onto the cloud platform,” said Reimer, who has more than three decades’ worth of experience in the technology industry. “And that gives you time to focus on what really matters—your product, your service, your feature, your customer—whatever it is that you’re going to do to make money and make the world a better place.”

As demand for cloud services skyrockets, businesses should no longer be toiling away and worrying about smaller things like “whether the disk is full, or the processor is busy, or you’ve run out of cores,” Reimer said.

“Our belief is that the economics will force cloud platform adoption, and fighting that is like fighting gravity. So the smart companies are the ones who are going to invest ahead of that curve and get really smart at that and learn how it’s done, why it’s done and embrace it as a mandate—like it’s something you have to do—are going to win,” he said. “Rather than companies that either ignore it or just have one lone engineer dabbling in it off to the side, we see that a lot. Cloud needs to be part of the strategy.”

Most buyers of cloud services right now use only the most rudimentary Infrastructure-as-a-Service offerings, according to Reimer. Cascadeo aims to help customers discover, learn and build on its cloud platform services.

“The simple thing to do is use AWS like it’s VMware in the sky—move your virtual machines in and let them run perpetually. That completely misses the point. You’ve totally missed the benefit of cloud if you’re just using it to host virtual machines, “he said. “Our niche is really companies that want to embrace cloud and get the real benefit out of the platforms.”

Making Money In The Public Cloud As A Solution Provider

Solution providers that are betting on cloud providers like AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud are raking up some serious sales and margins.

However, those that partner closely with public cloud leaders must be able to add their own value on top of the cloud platforms.

“You have to add value on top of it. Reselling AWS is not enough. There are companies that do that, and you still make margin on it, it’s just not massive margin,” said Reimer. “The better margins are in the things that are more unique, special and high-value layered on top of cloud, rather than just selling the product.”

Cascadeo sells three lines of business: professional services, managed services and its own software platform.

The company provides top-notch professional services around cloud and workload migration, automation, helping companies containerize, elite engineering and re-architecting businesses for the cloud.

Cascadeo’s managed services business focuses on infrastructure to application-level operations, management, backup, patching, scaling and overall IT optimization.

The company’s software platform provides customers with unique insight and analytics. “It’s how we do all of our cost analysis and analytics, reporting and cost optimization. So we have a department that builds the software platform because the software platform pays for itself in a dozen different ways,” said Reimer. “The platform makes the customer much happier because they have much better visibility into where their money goes, how they’re consuming, how their patterns are changing, how they can be more efficient, how they can save through savings plans and reserved instances, etc.”

Founded in 2006, Cascadeo specializes in cloud migration, artificial intelligence and machine learning. The company, which was acquired by Globe Telecom in 2020, was one of AWS’ first certified MSP channel partners.

Reimer is bullish about his company’s future by betting big on the cloud.

“Unless you’re a local barbershop, for example, having a strategy for how you’re going to build or migrate to cloud will be a top IT priority,” he said. “It needs to be part of the strategy for pretty much every company. … We’re excited about our future.”

Mark Haranas

Mark Haranas is an assistant news editor and longtime journalist now covering cloud, multicloud, software, SaaS and channel partners at CRN. He speaks with world-renown CEOs and IT experts as well as covering breaking news and live events while also managing several CRN reporters. He can be reached at mharanas@thechannelcompany.com.

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