With some of the largest companies in the world – Google, Amazon, Microsoft – leading the way in public cloud, many may think enterprises are only looking for large companies capable of providing that type of infrastructure, so they should as well.
According to a recent survey from 451 Research, however, there is still persistent demand for what it calls specialist service-provider infrastructure. Read: Those who support hosted private cloud and other dedicated hardware environments acting as components to public cloud or serving as critical components of hybrid IT.
This makes sense, given in past blogs we’ve cited studies that found public cloud isn’t always cheapest, private cloud is growing in market share, and many still want to keep some pieces of some legacy on-premises architecture.
451 Research also found that bonus points go to vendors that can also support a diverse range of services, either on their own infrastructure or sourced from third parties. Why is this the case? Enterprises crave flexibility and customization, two qualities sorely lacking in public cloud environments. With many public cloud providers, you get a small space in their environment which you often cannot customize and are sharing with other companies. Many enterprises still prefer provider-owned infrastructure in multi-cloud environments that can support multi-faceted environments, enabling them to host multiple workloads.
Workload-specific requirements are becoming one of the most important deciding factors for the type of infrastructure enterprises end up choosing, particularly for cloud: They may want one public cloud environment for non-business critical applications, while more sensitive data resides in private clouds or on-premises infrastructure. Forty percent of respondents in the 451 Research study indicated that they preferred infrastructure operated by the service provider itself. However, enterprises also prefer infrastructure supplied by third parties (12.1%) and a combination of a service provider’s own infrastructure and third-party infrastructure (23.8%).
More enterprises are actively seeking to avoid vendor lock-in regarding cloud so they can maintain control. The number of enterprises that prefer dealing directly with and managing multiple vendors themselves rose 40 percent from 2016 to 2017. Faced with a growing set of specialized application and infrastructure services directly addressing specific areas of need, many businesses are adding new suppliers to a growing portfolio and view this model as important to their operation.
Enterprises are also looking for vendors that can help advise them on cloud matters. According to the study, at least one-third of those surveyed look for this capability in a cloud vendor, and 40 percent of respondents have used professional services from hosting and cloud service providers in the past year. Enterprises often want to incorporate cloud into their portfolio to drive cost savings, flexibility, performance, and security – which oftentimes requires extensive architectural or implementation work. Look for service providers that can build these into a relationship with you by making professional services – such as readiness assessment, migration services, integration services, cloud cost optimization, and other services – part of the onboarding process.
As a result, many cloud vendors are ratcheting up their own portfolio of tools, such as management consoles, security tools, infrastructure monitoring services, cost calculators, and other features adding value across cloud platforms and environments.
The good news is that the market recognizes you’re looking for more than just a public cloud – you also crave flexibility, customization, control, and advisory services the big hyperscale providers can’t always deliver. The bad news is that, as with any market opportunity, there will be thousands of vendors vying for your business. Looking for some clarity amongst the noise? US Cloud™ is a managed cloud and cloud security provider with 2.1 billion secure logins managed since 1999. With its 100% USA-based CloudKeeper™ support, US Cloud helps companies simplify their infrastructure, unburden their team, and protect their brand.