Can telcos take a share of the cloud services market? Judging from a recent survey and a panel session on the topic, it will be an uphill battle.
Jerry Caron, an SVP and analyst at Current Analysis, noted that in the past, telcos had their own communication services. “Basically the world would buy what they decided to give them. That's the world they operated in. In the world of cloud, in their new business they need to address, that is definitely not the case. They're just one of the players.”
Current Analysis surveyed 700 enterprises from around the world about their supplier preference for IaaS and PaaS now and over the next 12 months. The survey found that telecom operators have just 4% of the IaaS and 2% of the PaaS market.
Caron, who led the panel at NetEvent’s recent cloud conference near San Jose, expects this to trend upward. As the applications that businesses move to the cloud become more sophisticated and more mission-critical, the value of telcos will rise. “But you can see the problem.”
MEF CEO Kevin Vachon also sees a great opportunity for telcos to succeed in the cloud, noting there's a global fabric that is being built with capabilities to deliver cloud services quite effectively.
“Going forward the services can become more dynamic, and SDN will only make Ethernet services more manageable and lower the opex. If the operators follow this road map, they will have the fabric in place to take advantage of new capabilities to be successful as a cloud carrier,” he said.