Cloud Crystal Ball

As we all celebrated the beginning of 2016, many of us made New Year’s resolutions – lose weight, get organized, spend less, save more, enjoy life, stay fit. As I get back into the swing of things today, I started to think about the New Year’s resolutions you might make a work, and particularly related to Infrastructure as a Service – and the impact it may have on telcos and service providers.

As we begin 2016, how many organizations are taking a step back to look at their infrastructure and decide if this is the year to move to the cloud, is a hybrid approach best, is a multi-cloud approach better? This review of resources marks an opportunity for growth, or, for many telcos and service providers, the reality of lost customers.

But let’s focus on the positive. I had a look at a number of predictions offered in an Information Week article by Andrew Froehlich. I think many have huge bearing on telcos and services providers.

Froehlich suggests that while hybrid clouds saw tremendous adoption rates in the enterprise this year, in 2016 hybrid will become the new normal for enterprise infrastructures. He quotes and agrees with Gartner’s Ed Anderson, “I start to think of a multi-cloud environment as a foundation for a next wave of applications.”

Froehlich also predicts that cloud-native apps will become the norm in 2016… [and that] “cloud providers are now focusing on how to provide services for next-gen applications that require things like time-based analytics, omni-channel support, and microservice support.”

Three other things of note – barriers to entering the cloud are disappearing as governments adjust to become more cloud friendly, while cloud providers are offering more services that satisfy regulation/compliance requirements; cloud storage looks like a financial bargain to many organizations, if only to protect against security threats; and finally that “your service provider’s next-generation cloud architecture will be built on a hyper-converged platform will be quite high in 2016. Because there is such a large demand for cloud services, providers are looking to hyper-converged platforms to speed up scalability and reduce maintenance costs. IDC researchers predict that hyper-convergence spending will nearly double from $806.8 million in 2015 to nearly $1.6 billion in 2016.”

All of this is great news if you are positioned to support enterprises as they move to the cloud. AWS, Microsoft and Google will be natural choices for many, but enterprises also want choice and freedom. They want value added services and customer support. That’s where smaller service providers can truly differentiate.

I started this blog post by calling it new year, new cloud? That is truly a question. As many enterprises turn to the cloud, how are you adapting your cloud to meet their demands? Are you offering the same services you’ve done before? Are you giving customers access to the big three cloud vendors as well as your infrastructure? How are you offering value added services?

I would suggest that any cloud service provider or telco looking to succeed in 2016 have a look at our Learning Zone. We’ve created a number of resources that help as you cope with cloud risks and opportunities, learn how to become a next generation cloud provider or learn how to solve your multi-cloud problem.

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