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April 7, 2011

Cloud hosting services not up to enterprise challenge: Gartner

Cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) represents a spectrum of services; there is no "one size fits all" service, and no single provider successfully addresses all segments of the market, according to Gartner.

By CBR Staff Writer

Gartner research vice president Lydia Leong said we are still at the beginning of the adoption cycle for cloud compute IaaS. This is a rapidly evolving market that represents the transformation of IT infrastructure over 10 to 20 years.

"However, the next five years represent a significant revenue opportunity — as well as a critical period for vendors who need to lay their foundations for the future," Leong said.

According to Gartner, because the market and the associated technologies are immature, customers frequently settle for what they can get now, rather than what they actually want or need.

They currently tend to make primarily tactical decisions rather than long-term strategic commitments.

Leong warned that while capturing the customer at this stage has value, service providers need to work hard to ensure that they retain these customers as their needs evolve.

Leong said that in order to understand the market evolution, providers must first understand what prospective customers intend to do with cloud IaaS — both now and in the future.

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Providers must also be prepared to pay attention to the different buyer constituencies in each segment: IT operations, other technical personnel (such as application developers, engineers and scientists) and business buyers, all of whom may have different needs.

Gartner predicts that the market is poised for strong growth with worldwide IaaS forecast to grow from an estimated $3.7bn in 2011 to $10.5bn in 2014.

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