Those of you follows the market of Cloud solutions’ providers will have noted for sure certain phenomena and behaviours that emerged dramatically in the last years.
- The biggest players, ie Microsoft, Amazon and Google, have an increasingly more sophisticated and complex offer that can fulfill most business needs, thus eliminating the internal infrastructure. Apart from this trio, a very few other players can compete in more than two or three sectors. Who seeks an all-around solution must rely upon one of these.
- In general the prices of these three giants tend to be higher than the rest of the market, but there are sectors (where economies of scale help) where are definitely cheaper than the average. To the detriment of smaller providers.
- Who shows up in a more aggressive way on the market and manages to gain success despite the aforementioned three giants, makes it with a very specific PaaS or SaaS architecture, think of Salesforce/Force.com: smart and well architected structured starting from the resolution of a problem in the best way possible.
- Traditional SaaS solutions like emails or object storage platforms (like Dropbox & Co.) compete with great difficulty with these giants, not in terms of prices but rather in terms of added value that Amazon, Microsoft and Google can offer. Microsoft in particular stands in a predominant position in the SaaS world thanks to the legacy of its past and traditional software: Exchange, Office and Sharepoint. Products that are heavily used in the Enterprise world that suffice to persuade lots of companies to partner with Microsoft, regardless of prices and modalities and times of effective migration.
Hence who -like some of you- wants to emerge in the world of Cloud services must maintain a certain appeal in order not to lose clients. So it makes sense to sell cheap mailboxes, but also to offer a management system that provides an added value and specific services to attract and keep loyal clients. Otherwise you will be replaced by one of these giants.
An aspect not to be underestimated is the extreme management complexity of these platforms and the continue updating they undergo: if you can’t compete with services, then organise and learn how to compete in the management of these platforms. Even experienced IT Managers can experience lots of difficulties in understanding and managing platforms so extended and structured like Amazon’s AWS, Microsoft’s Azure and Office 365 or Google Cloud Platform. The same difficulties will be faced by companies that don’t have an internal skilled and expert IT department and will, consequently, rely upon partners and consultants.