The size of a business has quickly become a good measure of how they will go about purchasing cloud applications. Whether your customer is an enterprise, mid-market or small business, there is a high likelihood they will be making some sort of cloud purchase based on the reality of today’s business environment.
As a supplier of technology solutions, it’s important to understand how and why these purchasing behaviors differ from one business size to another and one year to the next, in order to suggest solutions that will resonate more effectively with your current and potential customers.
2017 Purchasing Behaviors
Hybrid cloud was the preferred strategy; private cloud adoption decreased
The percentage of enterprise organizations that have a strategy to use multiple clouds grew to 85 percent (up 3% from 2016) with a concurrent 4% decrease in those planning for multiple private clouds (down to 7%). This is a major turnaround from 2017, when private cloud use was the preferred strategy of enterprise organizations. AWS has lead in this public cloud adoption, with companies running more virtual machines in Amazon than other public clouds.
Increasingly reliant on externally-hosted technology solutions
Mid-sized companies tapped into the cloud more than ever before, but still at a rate slower than their larger and smaller counterparts. They rely heavily on externally-hosted technology solutions. By letting an external company handle strategic functions related to their technology solutions, they’re able to implement and use cloud-based solutions while still minimizing company risk and saving on headcount.
Largest purchaser of public cloud offerings
SMBs are impatient to accelerate their business growth with more advanced IT solutions and have seen cloud as a cost-effective way to do this. The use of SaaS has grown as SMBs introduce and become increasingly more reliant on new apps to facilitate their work environments, focusing on public cloud (due largely to internal IT capability constraints).
2018 Purchasing Predictions
We’ll see a shift in traffic to colocation and cloud service providers
We will see a large migration of workloads from on-premise environments to the cloud. The main factors accounting for this shift amongst enterprise businesses include the addition of new resources due to business growth, new IT initiatives and the purchase of additional services they previously didn’t have.
Larger moves to multi-cloud environments
With the 2017 shift from private to public cloud environments, there has been a corresponding increase in companies adopting a multi-cloud strategy. IDC estimates that 85% of enterprise organizations will be multi-cloud enabled by 2018.
Increased cloud budget for PaaS
PaaS provides tools for specialized development needs and reduces operational expenses by eliminating the need for on-site applications and support. By using PaaS solutions, enterprise organizations will be able to adopt new tech solutions faster and scale on demand. This in turn will assist them in more efficiently meeting goals as well as driving innovation and growth.
Top IT priorities in the coming year involve the network: network security; wireless and WAN initiatives; network virtualization; increasing bandwidth and speeds and SDN/NFV.
Becoming more reliant on customized cloud solutions
Mid-market has been the slowest to adopt cloud strategies and migration of workloads. Many reasons exist, such as cost and integration concerns, data portability, compliance and security. But as the enterprise and small market spaces quickly adopt and implement, it is high time for mid-sized companies to catch up.
Statistics reveal that cloud-related work has increased productivity and outcomes. Mid-market organizations will take advantage first by migrating some on-premise applications, like email, and therefore transition to Office 365. But cloud migration is the one area where mid-sized organizations can’t rely on a one-size-fits-all solution. This year, it is predicted that we will see an increase in mid-market companies working towards more customized cloud solutions, hybrid strategies and even adopting multi-cloud environments.
Cloud for automation purposes
Mid-sized businesses will not be able to fully utilize AI, like their enterprise counterparts, but will be using cloud automation tools to reap benefits they have seen small businesses receive. From CRM operations to accounting tools that include integrated payments and bank feeds, to payroll/HR automation tools, automated SaaS tools will help these mid-market businesses operate more efficiently.
Increased focus on UCaaS and therefore Network
With the focus to cut costs and either streamline internal IT resources or redirect them to other projects, we will see many mid-sized companies adopt cloud and UC services to understand more about their customers and engage and track them better. As companies within mid-market pursue more cloud projects, they will look to augment networks powering these initiatives; they will begin looking to improve speeds and the customer experience.
Top IT initiatives include: security and compliance solutions; mobility; voice and collaboration; social media and cloud computing.
Cloud Computing is big
Cloud computing spend will increase from $67B in 2015 to over $160B by 2020; analysts predict that by 2020, 78% of all US small businesses will fully adopt cloud computing. SMBs will continue purchasing more cloud automation as they combat some of their largest challenges including: budget constraints, mobile security and device management; excessive data; lack of skilled people; compliance and data protection,backup and recovery.
Utilization of customized, cheaper storage and cloud backup
The demand for more cloud storage options will undeniably result in the creation of more customized, accessible and less expensive storage options that SMBs will jump to employ. With most storage options only being financially accessible to enterprise or mid-market businesses, SMBs will be more than ready to make purchasing decisions on one of these newer, more accessible options. With fewer qualified resources SMBs will continue to make the shift to cloud/online backup and recovery to save on time and labor manually by installing, monitoring and maintaining software programs and tapes offsite.
Top IT priorities for SMBs in the coming year include: cloud computing; mobility solutions; collaboration; security and compliance; server virtualization and managed services.