Cloud Adoption Goes 'Way Beyond' Infrastructure
Enterprises are turning to cloud providers that offer more than hosting infrastructure services, according to a Microsoft-sponsored study from 451 Research.The cloud computing market has evolved, offering more opportunities for vendors that venture beyond providing the essentials of getting business clouds off the ground. A Microsoft-commissioned survey (PDF) of 1,700 hosting and cloud customers worldwide conducted by 451 Research reveals that in terms of IT spend, 70 percent of the opportunity for cloud providers now centers around application hosting, managed data services like backup and disaster recovery, and security. The results show that IT organizations are seeking cloud solutions that go "way beyond [their] infrastructure needs," Aziz Benmalek, general manager of Microsoft's Hosting Service Provider unit, told eWEEK. Demand is particularly acute in the managed services arena, where cloud providers can generate more business by delivering custom integrations, disaster recovery and service-level agreements that are "tailored toward the customer needs," he added. Over 75 percent of current cloud customers have a firm footing on the cloud, according to Benmalek. With the cloud discovery phase out of the way, those organizations expect to place nearly half of their applications in a combination of private and cloud setups, providing cloud data center operators with some potentially lucrative new revenue streams.
Despite growing confidence in implementing cloud-based IT services, enterprises are still looking for a helping hand, said Benmalek. "Customers are ready for the cloud, and moving [in that direction], but they want to walk before they run. They need a personal trainer."