04 december 2015

Data centre provider becomes sparring partner

written by Pieter de Haer

The use of SaaS is increasing rapidly worldwide and I wouldn't be surprised if the overwhelming majority of end-users run their entire IT application landscape across several external clouds in future. The role of the data centre provider as a sparring partner for SaaS providers is a crucial element of this transition.

Over the last few years, various studies have been published worldwide regarding the emergence and use of cloud services. A number of interesting trends have come forth in this regard. What is particularly striking are the growth prospects for cloud services aimed at small and medium-sized businesses, with emerging markets growing at the fastest rate. This growth is expected to rise to 20 percent in Europe and the United States. The figure for Africa and Australia is even higher. Incidentally, Europe and the United States produce the greatest turnover, with a total reaching almost a hundred billion in 2018!

Less legacy

This development can be explained by a number of different factors. Firstly, lower turnover is achieved in the emerging markets, resulting in high growth figures. But what I consider to be more important, however, is the fact that legacy systems are less relevant in emerging markets.

Companies in Europe and the US often need to update old applications and often choose complex hybrid infrastructures as an intermediate solution. Companies in emerging markets do not have this problem. They can immediately make use of the latest and best cloud solutions without other considerations.

Sparring partner

An interesting picture of the future is emerging. Just as in the past, end-users want their IT landscape to be as uncomplicated as possible. Ideally, they would outsource all the IT expertise and focus solely on their core business. Cloud computing, and SaaS in particular, are highly suitable for this purpose. SaaS services can be delivered independent of location and eliminate the need to worry about application management.

I therefore believe that the end-users of the future will predominantly choose to use SaaS services. Although IaaS services will continue to exist, these will mainly be supplied to resellers and IT partner companies offering SaaS solutions. The IaaS market is still currently larger than the market for SaaS, but the use of SaaS is increasing at a much faster rate.

Fewer traditional IT systems

What this mainly means for public data centre providers is that they will be forced to reconsider their role. In future, the data centre will be less of an important 'product' as it is now. And you can already see this happening. Colocation and traditional IT infrastructures are decreasing in popularity and have an increasingly smaller share of the market. Data centre providers will therefore have to focus most of their efforts on supporting partners and delivering IaaS.

IT partner companies wishing to make greater use of SaaS often need an IaaS provider that can act as a partner for content and discussion. This is something we now often see in practice. Software providers often have no knowledge of how to design a hosting platform for their own software, let alone how to maintain it successfully. Data centre and IaaS providers therefore have a golden opportunity to become the sparring partner that is desperately needed.

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