- As enterprises embrace the cloud for broader use, providers are responding in kind with improved functionality and more services options aimed at customers at either end of the market spectrum (i.e., large enterprises and entry-level users).
- Is there a risk these solutions will leave out the bulk of customers in the middle?
A new year means a new set of predictions for what is to come in the months ahead for IT. Front and center in most prognostications are projections about 2013 being a big year for the cloud. You won’t hear any arguments to the contrary here, as all signs point to broader market acceptance of and demand for cloud services. At the same time, cloud providers are stepping up their portfolios with better features, simpler ordering and provisioning, and new pricing models that match the needs of a more diverse prospect pool.
Established cloud providers are extending their on-demand service catalogs to include features and specific services tailored to meet the needs of businesses at both the high and lower ends of the market. Additions such as the availability of multi-factor certificate-based authentication services for Verizon Terremark’s Enterprise Cloud offer appeal to the businesses considering the cloud for enterprise applications. Meanwhile, introductions of features such as instance-based pricing appeal to both smaller businesses with lower capacity requirements and organizations that want the flexibility to support variable workloads without making a significant minimum capacity commitment.
Other enterprise providers such as Savvis have rolled out infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) solutions built specifically for departmental and SMB clients. The company’s savvisdirect offer, introduced late last year, features the kind of straightforward online ordering and provisioning and transparent pricing that makes it particularly attractive to newcomers to the cloud.
These and a slew of less widely heralded additions signify some real progress in the options available to businesses. However, there is a risk that the focus on the high and low ends of the size spectrum will leave many needs of the vast middle unaddressed. Are cloud providers adding the features and functionality your organizations need today? What is missing now? What is on your wish list for the future?