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March 19, 2015

Cloud future is (h)appy and hybrid

Hybrid cloud is becoming the 'norm.'

By James Nunns

Research from Microsoft and 451 Research has highlighted that new opportunities are emerging for cloud service providers now that it has gone mainstream.

The study revealed that nearly 70% of opportunities for CSP’s are now centred around application hosting, such as email and business applications, as well as managed services like backup and disaster recovery, and security services like threat management.

Aziz Benmalek, general manager, Hosting Service Provider business, Microsoft, said: "For today’s cloud service providers, infrastructure has become only a small part of their overall service offering."

"More than 75 percent of customers are now beyond the cloud discovery phase and expect that in three years, almost half of their applications will be deployed in a combination of private and public cloud environments."

"This presents a significant opportunity for our service provider partners to provide value-added services to their customers. By offering these expanded services, cloud service providers will be able to drive additional consumption, increase revenue and serve as trusted advisors."

The study also found that the decision making process for service providers has shifted, as decisions are now being made by CIO’s or CTO’s according to 52% of those surveyed.

The CEO is considered a primary decision maker by 44% of companies surveyed, highlighting a move away from the traditional IT manager being the decision maker.

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Michelle Bailey, senior vice president, Digital Infrastructure and Data Strategy, 451 Research, said: "Hybrid cloud infrastructures are becoming the norm for customers. As new decision-makers emerge, so too does the criteria for selecting cloud service providers."

"Trust, uptime, security, performance and technical expertise are today’s differentiators for a business-ready cloud. It’s not just about having datacenters everywhere at the lowest price. Providers need to build a business that aligns to who they are as a company and who they are supporting."

"Cloud 2.0 is really about value, redefining cloud computing from a technical specification to a business-ready environment. Enterprises are looking for a trusted end-to-end solution, and ultimately this will involve multiple partners."

It was found that 73% of respondents have a former Windows Server 2003 migration plan, of this 73% around 50% will increase their use of hosting and CSPs as a result.

It is expected that they will deploy newer versions of Windows servers hybrid cloud environments.

The research, "Beyond Infrastructure: Cloud 2.0 Signifies New Opportunities for Cloud Service Providers," surveyed more than 1,700 hosting and cloud customers across 10 emerging and developed countries from December 2014 through March 2015.

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