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Top 10 Cloud Predictions For 2014

by | Jan 28, 2014

2014 Cloud PredictionsBy 2015, cloud is on trend to make up the majority of IT spend, according to Gartner. What can you expect in 2014? Here are what solution providers told CRN are the biggest cloud trends for 2014: (read full article here)

1. Bridging The Public-Private Divide – To allay enterprise fears of security and other compliance factors with the public cloud, RiverMeadow’s Shirman predicts more and more companies will move to an off-premise private cloud model.

2. Hybrid Cloud – Even though enterprise, in particular, is drawn to private cloud solutions, they can’t always use that for everything, RiverMeadow President and CEO Mark Shirman said. Calling it cloud “sprawl,” Shirman said that smaller projects and individuals push at least some of the enterprise’s business into public clouds.

3. HIPAA Compliance – The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance regulations ramped up on Sept. 23, 2013, extending security regulations around health care to business associates and raising fines for noncompliance. Already, big fines have been doled out, including $1.5 million by the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Associates Inc. and $1.7 million by the Alaska Department of Health and Human Services.

4. Billing Model Change – With the move to the cloud comes the need to change how companies do their billing, switching from per station to a recurring revenue-based model.

5. MSP To Cloud Advisor – Kevin McGibben, CEO of LogicMonitor, said that while cloud is still in an “early adopter phase,” more and more MSPs are starting to stake a claim in the cloud marketplace. There’s a huge opportunity for mature MSPs to move upstream, McGibben said, if they are able to act as the technology efficiency gainer. Being a cloud adviser is MSP model 3.0, said Dima Kumets, product manager at OpenDNS, which will come around in 2014.

6. More Cloud Marketing – Despite all the value that MSPs and CSPs are able to provide with the cloud to clients, marketing is an area that resellers, especially smaller ones, have historically struggled with, Ingram Micro Jamie Ferullo, sales director of the SMB business unit at Ingram Micro, said.

7. More Small Businesses To The Cloud – While big business was relatively quick to jump to the cloud, 2014 is going to be the year of the small business. Len Srinivasan, vice president of channel partner development at Vembu Technologies, said that 70 percent of small businesses are still not comfortable with the cloud, but that’s an opportunity for MSPs to step in and add value the SMBs can’t resist. Part of the demand from the end user stems from a general growing awareness of the cloud, Continuum CEO Michael George said.

8. Partnering For Scale – Even though market competition is increasing, MSPs are starting to realize that they don’t have to do it all themselves, Ingram Micro’s Bystrack said. Instead of taking on a lot of headcount to become a “master MSP,” they can form industry partnerships to help get the scale needed to make their business more competitive, he said.

9. Increased Competition – Ingram Micro’s Bystrack said that as the cloud continues to grow, it creates an increase in market competition along with it, as more product-centric resellers are making the move over to the MSP and managed cloud markets. Driving that demand, Bystrack said, are an increasing number of mergers and acquisitions snapping up MSPs to help bigger companies break into the marketplace, or smaller companies forming partnerships for scale.

10. Increased Demand For Managed Services – From an increased demand for cloud services will follow an increased demand for managed services, Jason Bystrack, director of cloud and managed services for North America at Ingram Micro, told CRN. As more and more services move off premises, it means more and more clients are going to need help managing it all. While it’s an opportunity for managed service providers already in the cloud to add on more services, it’s also a great gateway for those looking to break into the market.