Big shake-up awaits on-demand services in 2014, IDC predicts

Asia Cloud Forum editors
16 Dec 2013

In 2014, IDC predicts that major strategic shifts in the cloud services space in each of the three major layers of infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and software-as-a-service (SaaS).

This will form a "new leadership structure" of the cloud services industry and will begin to reshape the early stage of cloud adoption in Asia.

Consolidation of IaaS vendors

Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, IBM, HP and others will dramatically escalate their cloud data center deployments in 2014, IDC said. In particular, AWS will continue to expand its very large footprint, particularly where it has "gaps in Asia Pacific."

"IDC envisions a near doubling of cloud data centers from several of Amazon's newly-energized traditional IT competitors. Why this escalation of cloud infrastructure deployments? Because cloud is a scale game and players without massive scale will be uncompetitive," explains Chris Morris, associate VP, services, Asia Pacific and lead analyst, cloud services & technologies, IDC Australia.

IDC foresees that by 2017 there will be fewer than eight major global players in IaaS, perhaps fewer, based on which companies are willing to invest massive capital into a global cloud delivery capability. And these players will come from among the three big "integrated stack" providers (Amazon Web Services, Google and Microsoft) plus a small number of major players around two or three of the open ecosystem platforms -- which include OpenStack, VMware and CloudStack (each vying to become "the Android of the cloud platforms").

"Asia is entering a 'put up or shut up' time, as some players dramatically escalate their investments to scale up their capacity and global presence, while others hesitate and ultimately scale back." Morris warns of an important caveat: If the "NSA/Snowden effect" leads to country and regional governments legislating/regulating in favor of local cloud providers, and effectively against the global players cloud offerings, Asia could also see the proliferation of regional players who cater to region-specific requirements.

New stage of IaaS differentiation

In contrast with the "one size fits all" image of cloud compute and storage services, IDC anticipates that there will be a dizzying increase in the variety of workload-specialized cloud infrastructure services -- rivaling, and quickly surpassing -- what is available from the server and storage OEM community.

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