Time marches on . . . and so does the cloud. According to a recent IDC report, IT customers are increasingly becoming “cloud first”. Nothing surprising here, of course, but there are many ways to get to the cloud.
For those customers who want to take advantage of the agility and economic benefits the cloud can often deliver, looking to cloud service providers may be a way to go. While enterprises will continue to maintain their
own IT infrastructure, applications, and services, not having to make potentially significant capital investments in hardware and software infrastructure in order to add cloud services can yield significant benefits.
In these cases, acquiring cloud services from service providers can be a viable option.
Customers today are familiar with the most well-known of these – including hyperscale providers. They, along with other hosting organizations and outsourcers, defined and established the public cloud market early on, and,
it’s fair to say, dominate it today.
They are, however, not without their issues. Surprisingly excessive costs, questionable security, and some infamous bouts of downtime have caused concern among some customers, who have then questioned whether it makes sense to use these providers for their mission-critical applications and data.
Market dynamics and other factors have therefore created real opportunity for service providers to establish themselves in the market for cloud services. Whether they are currently providing such services, or have historically served the market as outsources or managed services organizations and are being pushed by their customers into the cloud, growing their businesses may depend on how successfully they are in providing cloud services.
How can they be successful? Costs, performance, reliability, and security are important success factors, to be sure, but they are not the only ones. In addition, there are ways to excel in these and other areas that can impact success:
- Services must be built on a healthy infrastructure foundation: Reliable, secure delivery of cloud services
requires that they be built and delivered on systems, storage, and software infrastructure that meets the demands of customers today.
- Domain and/or industry expertise count: Generic cloud services (archiving, compute, backup, and so on) are of course important and relevant, but a true value add can often take the form of services specific to application domains or industries. In these situations, customers look not only for functional capabilities, but also to the expertise and consultative abilities of a service provider.
- Agility demands integration: Different clouds make sense for different workloads and data sets, and customers are
reaching levels of cloud maturity where they can intelligently take advantages of various cloud delivery models and service providers to optimize their cloud returns. Success may therefore also depend on the degree to which the cloud services and the infrastructure on which they reside can integrate to other cloud platforms. Working within cloud marketplaces may also be needed.
- Costs must be predictable, and REAL: While not the only, or even most important, cloud benefit, lowering costs is a driver of cloud adoption. Customers see the ability to “pay-as-they-go” as attractive, and service providers will have to be responsive to this. This becomes easier if the service provider can align its own costs with similar, more flexible financial models as well. Partnering with infrastructure vendors who are able and willing to work with service
providers to achieve this goal can make a significant difference.
- IoT and analytics are increasingly driving customer choices: Infrastructure is important, but as customers increase
their IoT participation and grow their need for analytics capabilities, service providers will need to work with companies who not only provide these capabilities, but are committed to expanding and enhancing them for the future.
These success factors should lead service providers to partner with a vendor who can support their efforts to achieve them.
With its Cloud Service Provider Program, Hitachi brings a mix of leadership cloud infrastructure, integration with key cloud platforms, flexible financial models, and IoT and analytics expertise to its cloud service provider partners,
helping them deliver measurable benefits to their customers while helping them grow their businesses.
To learn more, click here.