IDC claims IBM is vendor of choice for US enterprise IaaS market

James has more than a decade of experience as a tech journalist, writer and editor, and served as Editor in Chief of TechForge Media between 2017 and 2021. James was named as one of the top 20 UK technology influencers by Tyto, and has also been cited by Onalytica, Feedspot and Zsah as an influential cloud computing writer.

An independent study from analyst house IDC has revealed that IBM is the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) vendor of choice for US enterprise buyers, well ahead of rivals Microsoft, Google and Amazon Web Services.

Of the three competitors, only Google made the top five vendors, with Cisco, HP and AT&T all ahead. IBM was one of ‘the top three vendors that [respondents] believe can provide infrastructure as a service for private and/or public, most effectively’ according to 35% of respondents. Cisco came in at just under 30%, while the remaining vendors had less than one fifth of the vote – Microsoft and Google scored approximately 16% while Amazon languished at 13%.

The overall market share, according to the more than 400 respondents at US enterprises with over 1000 employees, can be seen below:

David Tapper, VP at IDC and author of the report, said he wanted to understand companies’ perceptions of where the space was heading.

“Our view is cloud is in essence the next generation of outsourcing,” he tells CloudTech. “I believe the way markets move is that while we as individuals think of brands, we also are actually interested in the type of business model.”

Tapper uses the example of retail, where you can buy your groceries from a farmer, a high end store or a big discounter. This differentiation in business models is one of the reasons why the channel exists – it’s not a new concept for IT. Yet Tapper notes the statistical phenomenon of ‘regression to the mean’ in terms of how markets work; no matter what you buy in the market, everything eventually moves back to an average.

This isn’t to say the study has little short term merit; however, Tapper notes that the cloud services game is a long one, with plenty of jockeying for position ahead.

“It’s not so simple as to say ‘here’s your server’”, he explains. “While some clients will use pure cloud, others will say no, I need a provider with a breadth of capability, reputation – that’s a big one – [and] financial stability. That all comes into the equation.”

Tapper believes the cloud industry is a lot like the car industry – a point referenced in the report. It’s a straightforward theory – car manufacturers use a product platform which puts various models on the same production line, which can then be localised and personalised, such as colour, or where the driver sits.

The similarities with cloud computing are tangible, with Tapper joking the auto equivalent of an SLA is ‘the brakes work.’

“When you look at the value chain, it mimics exactly what cloud is,” he says. “Cloud, at the end of the day, is about personalised and localised service anywhere in the world, in very quick timeframe [which] meets all my regulations.

“Right now we have multitudes of types of providers,” he continues. “We’ve got product companies that want to deliver this as a service, we’ve got online companies who have an outsourced model which is cloud-based, then we have traditional outsourcers who have run data centres for years, moving into a machine that’s faster, better and cheaper in the long run.

“Traditional players have to go from the carriage to the car,” Tapper adds. “And I’m not saying they’re carriage markers, but they’re moving at fundamentally different models. Service models take a long time to build.”

You can find a link to the full report here.

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