The global cloud service market hand a strong Q4 2018. Spending in this industry grew about 46% to reach almost $23 billion. Total outlay on the cloud infrastructure exceeded $80 billion for the whole of 2018. This was an increase from 2017, where it stood at $55 billion. This is according to data analyzed by Canalys.
An Important Sector of the IT World
Due to this growth, cloud infrastructure is now one of the important sectors in the IT world. This is not just based on the growth rate but also on the expanding size. The AWS was still the most dominant cloud service in Q4 2018.
The AWS share of customer-spend remained constant at 32%. An upcoming service in Microsoft Azure, which grew its customer spend share to 16% in the same period in 2017. Google cloud managed to get to 9% for the first time. Alibaba Cloud’s share remained at 4%. The other cloud-service providers in the top 10 list were Oracle, Tencent Cloud, NTT Communications, OVH, IBM, and Salesforce.
The Increased use of hybrid-IT environments and Multi-Cloud Services
According to the data, a cloud service provider is key to the digital transformation of an enterprise. The provider supports the creation of new customer experiences, deployment of IoT to revolutionize the process, and the use of big data for better insights into what customers need. Cloud services are also important for the embedding of machine learning and AI for the future of business automation.
It is worth noting that market dynamics have drastically changed in the recent past. There are now more businesses that opt for hybrid-IT environments and multi-cloud solutions. It helps companies use the strengths of various cloud-service providers and deployments models, which depend on data requirement, compliance, application, cost, and performance.
Channel Partners in the Cloud Service Sector
Channel partners will play an increasingly important role due to the direct results of trends. It is particularly so in the area of understanding the needs of customers, deployment, integration, and recommending the right services. There is also the issue of simplifying the billing process and managing multiple cloud services.
Cloud service providers now focus on creating channel programs that support the growing network of partners above and beyond the biggest system integrators. It is especially so as they reach out to mid-market and SMB consumers. According to Canalys, the share of cloud business that will be handled by channel partners will grow in 2019. Thus, providers of cloud service will need to look for ways to improve the differentiation to partners and raise the maturity of channel models.
The Focus for the Future
The focus in the future will be rewarding partners that have specialized expertise around specific cloud deployments. This could be SAP HANA, security, analytics, or partners that are working on a unique service on top of the cloud and those that drive the adoption of cloud services. Cloud service providers have to build trust with channel partners.
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