Cloud suppliers to go head to head in 2014: IDC

By Freya Purnell
2014 is expected to bring major strategic shifts in the cloud services space, reshaping cloud adoption in Asia over the coming years and possibly resulting in new leadership in the IT market.

In the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) arena, IDC predicts that Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, HP and others will dramatically escalate their cloud data centre deployments in 2014.

IDC Australia associate VP, services Asia-Pacific and lead analyst, cloud services and technologies, Chris Morris, believes this escalation will be driven by the need for scale to remain competitive.

IDC foresees that by 2017 there will be fewer than eight major global IaaS players, based on which companies are willing to invest massive capital into a global cloud delivery capability.

“Asia is entering a ‘put up or shut up’ time, as some players dramatically escalate their investments to scale up their capacity and global presence, while others hesitate and ultimately scale back,” Morris said.

However there is an important caveat – if the ‘NSW/Snowden effect’ leads to country and regional governments regulating in favour of local cloud providers, and effectively against the global players’ cloud offerings, Asia could also see the proliferation of regional players.

IDC also predicts there will be a large increase in the variety of workload-specialised cloud infrastructure services, quickly surpassing what is currently available from the server and storage OEM community. Morris said this will effectively turn assumptions about the cloud – that is, that hardware options are constrained – on their head.

In 2014, the battle will also be on between cloud developers, with IDC predicting that by 2017, at least 80 per cent of new cloud solutions (and developers) will be hosted on (and aligned with) the top six competing platforms.

“Amazon, Microsoft, Salesforce.com, Google, IBM, Oracle, SAP, EMC/VMware/Pivotal, HP and others know that new cloud apps will fuel the industry’s growth, and these platform players want developers to host their innovative new apps and solutions on their PaaS/marketplace,” said Morris.

Over the next four years, there will also be 10-fold growth in the number of apps in the cloud, two-thirds of which will have an industry- or role-specific focus, driven by a tripling of the number of developers and contributors to cloud app ecosystems.

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