Cloud Trends: Customers Are Leading the Way
It's hard to imagine that just a few years ago, the cloud was a new concept to most and a perceived threat to much of the channel.
While we are still in the formative years of cloud computing, there are trends emerging. The cloud is not a panacea -- the NSA has done a good job of reminding us of that -- but customers are defining how it can help their businesses.
Recently identified as a Challenger on Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Managed Hosting, North America, Peer 1 Hosting works with customers and partners to make the most of the cloud.
"This is an unending journey, not a sprint to a fixed point," said Robert Miggins, Peer 1's senior vice president of business development. "We are making a difference and living up to our mission -- to allow our customers to focus on the possibilities of the Internet and not the problems."
Cloud as Disaster Recovery
The value of the cloud to business continuity has been demonstrated far too often in the past couple of years -- from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy to the Colorado floods. For every size organization, cloud-based disaster recovery plans can literally save the business. The opportunity for partners to help small and large businesses take advantage of the cloud for business continuity, understanding the nuances of evolving requirements, will continue to grow.
For Peer 1, international clients have asked for multi-location datacenters to ensure continuity on a global scale. For some clients, the geographic location of their data is critical to their compliance.
"For example, we have two Tier 3 datacenters in the U.K. and other locations around the world to support enterprise disaster recovery," Miggins explained. "These organizations need a failover to another datacenter, with the assurance of data sovereignty."
As in all opportunities for partners, being able to educate customers on the advantages, risks and options for every service builds value. Partners taking the lead in education will win the business.
The Move to Hybrid
Managed hosting, combined with the ability to burst to the cloud, provides the flexibility that businesses need to capitalize on big data. While bursting to the cloud is not a new idea, it is becoming a mainstream opportunity supporting the interest in big data analysis. The elasticity of the cloud makes it the perfect platform to process very large sets of data.
Hybrid hosting -- a combination of managed private hosting plus access to the public cloud as needed -- gives customers the balance of security and volume. In addition to bursting for data analysis, hybrid hosting is a viable solution for high-volume Web sites and data aggregators.
The Service Layer
For most partners, the big question is how to continue to provide value-add services to customers as they transition to the cloud. Whether it is driven by the cloud, or just a natural progression of our perception of technology, it's clear that businesses want to spend more time focused on their core business operations.
"In the service layer, we are seeing customers ask service providers to take more and more of the responsibility out of their hands," Miggins said. "They would rather focus on building a great app or making an awesome Web site."
There is good news in this for every partner. The cloud is far from mature, but it's progressing. Businesses are getting comfortable with the cloud, figuring out what's in it for them. Partners who continue to educate customers on the potential of the cloud will reap the benefits.
How are you building business on the cloud? Add a comment below or send me a note and let's share your story.
Posted by Barb Levisay on November 19, 2013 at 1:03 PM