Microsoft cites ‘enormous’ opportunity in hybrid cloud and managed services era

An ‘enormous’ opportunity is afoot for cloud companies as more organisations move towards implementing hybrid cloud and managed services, according to a new study from Microsoft.

The report – which was conducted in association with 451 Research and which comes in at a whopping 127 pages – polled more than 1700 respondents in 10 geographies, and found that almost two thirds (62%) of overall cloud and hosting infrastructure spend comes bundled with value-added services. When it came to managed infrastructure spending, just over half (54%) was on managed and security services, as opposed to 46% on the basic infrastructure.

Not entirely surprisingly given the sponsor of the study, Microsoft came out on top for public cloud providers as part of hybrid or multi-cloud environments. Azure was cited by 61% of respondents, ahead of Google (53%), AWS (46%), IBM SoftLayer (43%) and VMware (33%). Interestingly, 86% of those polled in MEA (Middle East and Africa) are Google houses – albeit with only 14 respondents.

For cloud deployment interoperability, the most popular option, cited by 64% of respondents, was an ‘on-premise private cloud with a hosted private cloud’. Expanding a little further, 57% opted for on-prem private cloud with public cloud, 55% with a hosted private cloud with public cloud, and 49% with two separate public cloud or IaaS platforms.

When it came to adoption drivers of hybrid and multi-cloud environments, flexibility and choice won out, cited by almost two thirds (64%) of overall respondents, ahead of extending IT’s resource capability for existing on-prem infrastructure (56%) and maximising return on existing on-prem investments (56%).

Naturally, Microsoft looks at the potential of the landscape and offers that it is ‘uniquely positioned’ to help customers with their critical managed service needs, as Aziz Benmalek, Microsoft VP of worldwide hosting and managed service providers put it in a blog post. Yet the stats show potential across the wider industry in general.

“More than ever before, customers are looking to a single trusted advisor to provide transformation-oriented managed services and hybrid implementation,” said Melanie Posey, 451 Research vice president. “Customers are looking to service providers to not only transform IT but also transform their entire business – to rewire the building and support new requirements, all while keeping the lights on.”

You can take a look at the full report here (email required).  

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