Current market conditions are creating a ‘perfect storm’ of opportunity for cloud service providers. Enterprise cloud strategies are evolving and service providers have the opportunity to step up to meet customer needs around deploying workloads in both private and public clouds.
This perfect storm of opportunity is being caused by a whole range of trends in the cloud market. Let’s take a look at two of these;
1. The move from private clouds to hybrid clouds
Many companies got their feet wet in cloud by deploying private clouds in their own data centers. As their experience with cloud grows and the automation, cost and agility benefits are realized, they are branching out to a hybrid cloud strategy to take advantage of public cloud resources. A hybrid cloud strategy usually involves deploying different workloads to either a private cloud or a public cloud – depending on the characteristics and requirements of those workloads. Read more about this here.
Another factor driving the move to make more use of public clouds in a hybrid cloud strategy is the need IT departments have to manage and control Shadow IT – a phenomenon that we’ve covered extensively in this blog. Cloud service providers have the opportunity to partner with enterprise IT to help them leverage the public cloud advantages of speed, cost and elasticity while retaining the management and control over their workloads in the public cloud.
Additionally, there is a reduced willingness on the part of enterprises to invest in more data centre space to address increased capacity needs – especially for workloads that may scale up and down. Enterprises are increasingly looking outwards to the vendor space to address that.
A hybrid cloud strategy means a more complex cloud environment – decisions about which workloads to place where, cost factors as well as security, monitoring & compliance questions come into play and companies are increasingly looking to cloud service providers to help them find answers to these questions and help them manage both private and public cloud environments.
2. The changing ways that companies are using the cloud
The ways that companies want to use the cloud and the workloads that they deploy have evolved as they become more comfortable with cloud technology. A lot of companies started off deploying development and test environments in the cloud; workloads that are intermittent and require high elasticity in compute resources. As companies get an increased comfort level with cloud security & compliance issues, they are starting to move more critical, production type workloads to the cloud.
As a result, they are moving up the stack in the cloud services they want to consume – from infrastructure and platform as a service offerings (OS, servers, storage, networks) to fully configured, multi-tier applications as a service (backup & recovery, ERP & collaboration applications). These more critical, full stack services often require the expertise that a service provider can deliver – monitoring, vertical expertise (eg: healthcare or financial industry compliance) and ongoing SLA management.
Taking Advantage of Stormy Conditions:
Cloud service providers can take advantage of this perfect storm of opportunity by:
- Delivering a Trusted Cloud; adding value to cloud services by offering monitoring, compliance, patching, change management, ITIL processes and, security to cloud services. These value added services can be packaged and charged for to increase both customer peace of mind and service provider revenue.
- Offering full stack service provisioning to customers and differentiating these services according to the customer’s needs – whether this is adding in features specific for verticals such as industry compliance or offering geo-based advantages by having local data centers. Service Providers who can meet the IaaS and PaaS needs of customers and help them to move up the stack when required will reap the rewards. Service providers can also take advantage of the many different infrastructure options that are out there to offer their customers the right cloud services at the right cost structure.
- Playing a cloud consultancy role to help customers make the transition from a traditional IT hosting or on premise environment to a cloud services environment or from a private cloud model to a hybrid cloud model. Assistance on which workloads to deploy where, how to best leverage different cloud models and how to manage security, compliance and monitoring in the cloud is highly valued by customers.
To find out more about how service providers can leverage the perfect storm of cloud opportunity, read the White Paper: Business Service Management for Cloud Service Providers: http://documents.bmc.com/products/documents/15/15/271515/271515.pdf
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