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Citrix Survey Sheds Light on Developing DaaS Market

A survey of Citrix service providers illustrates the “tremendous opportunity” for the channel to drive recurring revenue by offering monthly services, rather than one-time deployments.

While software as a service (SaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) have evolved into maturing markets, desktops as a service (DaaS) is still developing. The survey of more than 500 Citrix service providers in 40 countries globally focused on the DaaS market, including areas of strongest demand and the infrastructure providers used to deliver and manage DaaS.

John Carey, Citrix’s senior director of worldwide channel strategy and development, said the challenge for many partners is how to successfully transition to a services model, while preserving revenues and margins. Partners who are considering offering DaaS can see how other partners are “successfully deploying the service to customers while driving healthy margins.”

“They can also consider the most effective infrastructures and architectures, and see that many current providers are shifting to a hybrid and cloud-based infrastructure model, which enables them to streamline the backend issues and management, and focus on the services that drive value for customers and generate better margins for their business,” he told Channel Partners.

Some 71 percent of respondents anticipate DaaS revenue growth over the next 12 months, with 52 percent projecting growth between 16 percent and 50 percent. DaaS providers are finding the strongest growth in the financial services, health care and manufacturing vertical markets, according to the survey.

Also, complete hosted workspaces are popular, and providers see opportunity in specialized hosting services as well.

“A major surprise has been the strong growth and adoption of DaaS within the manufacturing vertical market in the past two years,” Carey said. “When we first began surveying our Citrix service providers in 2011, manufacturing ranked fifth among the vertical markets embracing DaaS. Last year, manufacturing had increased in importance and ranked third among vertical DaaS markets. This year, it was the top vertical market.”

That growth shows the “appeal of DaaS in business environments that require high-levels of reliability, and illustrates the maturity of DaaS as a way to securely deliver apps and data to the workforce,” he said.

The largest market for service provider-based DaaS services is among businesses with fewer than 100 end users, according to the survey. Also, most providers use their own data center or colocated data centers to offer DaaS, and anticipate a greater trend toward cloud-delivery and hybrid models.

“While partners have been careful as they explore the potential of a cloud-based infrastructure model, we can see a clear shift to IaaS from previous years where the desktops and apps were delivered from on-premises data centers,” Carey aid. “We expect to see this trend accelerate in coming years.”


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