XO: Enterprises Will Need Multiple Cloud Providers

Enterprises are aware of the importance of connecting to clouds, but need guidance on how to fully maximize use to advance their businesses.

That’s according to a new study commissioned by XO Communications and conducted by global market intelligence firm IDC. XO wanted to understand how the multi-cloud ecosystem will evolve over time.

Despite long-held concerns about security and performance, enterprises are aggressively pursuing a multi-cloud strategy, the study revealed.

The study confirms that 31–35 percent of enterprises plan to use hybrid infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and/or software as a service (SaaS) in the next two years; and 86 percent agree that they will need two or more cloud service providers to support their multi-cloud strategy.

This raises the importance of and need for a cloud architecture that adapts to a variety of network connectivity types and network providers, with the attributes of a multi-cloud offering that incorporates enterprise IT and wide area network (WAN) requirements, according to IDC.

John Grady, XO’s senior manager of solutions marketing, tells Channel Partners that channels “undoubtedly have a wealth of business opportunities by connecting customers directly to cloud service providers.”

“Customers are aware of the need to directly connect to clouds, but once connected they really need direction/advice/consulting about how to fully maximize these high-speed cloud connections for the betterment of their respective businesses,” he said. “The channel has an opportunity to provide such support to their customers.”

The study also showed the importance of key cloud attributes when accessing multiple cloud service providers. On a scale of one to five, with five indicating extremely important, enterprises rated network reliability and availability at 4.41, and secure data transport at 4.31.

IT managers also placed high importance on the performance management capabilities of the network provider they use to access cloud services.

Survey respondents further indicated that they expect to increase use from an average of two cloud providers to four within the next two years.

“IDC strongly recommends that enterprises in all key vertical segments and businesses with more than 500 employees develop an integrated IT and network strategy plan that specifies WAN connectivity requirements enabling enterprise users high-speed, dedicated access to emerging business-grade, multi-cloud services,” said Nav Chander, IDC’s research manager, enterprise telecom.

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