“Everything as a service” is the next big cloud opportunity in managed services, according to 451 Research’s new Voice of the Enterprise: Hosting and Cloud Managed Services study.
The market is changing rapidly as enterprise adoption of external, managed and unmanaged infrastructure services goes mainstream, 451 said. The research firm sees the biggest opportunity for vendors and providers who deliver high automation, rapid provisioning and services that address complex enterprise needs while retaining high-touch delivery. Those providers who focus on specialized regional and vertical markets also will see substantial growth, it said.
The study is based on an online survey of IT and cloud decision-makers globally, primarily based in North America and Europe, and supplemented by phone-based interviews.
As the as-a-service model evolves beyond IaaS, PaaS and SaaS to include new kinds of cloud-based services, 451 finds there is increasing demand for managed security, managed cyber-disaster recovery, managed networking services and managed hosting. Its study shows that managed services and security services are attached to roughly half of the total hosting and cloud opportunity, and are increasing year over year.
“This spending trend, alongside feedback from providers, indicates there is an appetite for a wider range of bundled offerings from the managed-service sector including systems integrators, VARs and others with service delivery experience,” said Rory Duncan, 451’s research director for managed services and hosting. “We see a significant opportunity for technology vendors to partner with service providers to offer higher-value, niche and vertical offerings as these services rapidly emerge.”
As much of the physical infrastructure delivered through IT distribution has become invisible to end users, many businesses have progressed from tin-shifting commoditized IT to supplying new kinds of cloud services, according to the study. As a result, 451 believes the role of the channel now is more important than ever in delivering support, maintenance and consulting services.
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With the emergence of new kinds of managed services, hardware appliances and security requirements, analysts believe the ability to “connect the dots” will become a key differentiator for channel partners and service providers. Plus, the move from cloud construction – with a focus on technology and infrastructure – to cloud consumption with an emphasis on service choice and delivery increases the importance of established customer relationships and the ability to offer a retail model for cloud.
Duncan discusses how IT distributors are adapting to the as-a-service model in a webinar on Tuesday, July 18.