Cloud computing services have come a long way over the years. Where most people once viewed the cloud as little more than an inexpensive storage option for non-essential data, the industry has exploded over the last fifteen years to take over nearly every aspect of technology services. Cloud computing has become so ubiquitous that even change-averse industries are transitioning assets and mission critical operations into the cloud. Part of the secret to the cloud industry’s success is the rapid maturity of its service offerings, which have grown substantially in recent years.
Organizations coming from an on-premises approach to IT typically had two models when it came to managing their tech stack. They either handled everything in-house with a dedicated IT team or they outsourced day-to-day management to a services provider. In the early days of migrating assets to the cloud, these models remained the default approach. Unfortunately, this wasn’t always the most efficient approach given the unique characteristics of cloud infrastructure. Many IT teams had to spend valuable time learning about cloud optimization rather than focusing on improving their own services and products.
As the cloud market has matured, it’s becoming more common for providers to take over managing every aspect of their customers’ deployments. This approach makes a lot of sense given that the cloud provider has greater visibility, access, and expertise when it comes to cloud infrastructure. By taking over the day-to-day management of these resources, they help customers gain the full benefits of migrating to the cloud in terms of operational efficiency, reduced costs, and enhanced flexibility. Rather than forcing their IT teams to manage the technical side of their cloud deployments, they can instead task them with leveraging the power of cloud services to develop innovative new solutions that will help their business grow.
Vertical Focused Offerings
Early cloud services were very much horizontal in their approach, offering a broad array of services that could be adapted to almost any use case. This made a lot of sense given that cloud computing was a new concept that had yet to gain broad acceptance and trust in the market. By offering generalized computing services to multiple industries, providers could appeal to a variety of industries and gain customers wherever possible as they built out their infrastructure and explored a variety of use cases.
In today’s market, however, specialization has become a key differentiator among cloud providers. Organizations now understand the benefits of cloud services and are much more willing to seek out providers with purely vertical focused offerings. Partnering with these cloud vendors frequently delivers a user experience and data insights that are relevant to industry needs. They’re also more likely to have the appropriate compliance and security measures in place to comply with the sector’s standards. Cloud providers that focus on healthcare or government needs, for instance, have designed their tech stack from the ground up to meet the unique requirements of customers within those industries.
Specialty Compute Offerings
The rapid growth and consolidation of the cloud market has led to the emergence of a small number of hyperscale providers who dominate the industry. According to recent data from Synergy Research, AWS makes up about 33 percent of the global cloud market, with Microsoft holding about 21 percent. Hyperscale cloud providers offer proven infrastructure and flexibility that allows them to deliver a wide range of services to both enterprises and smaller organizations. In a way, they are striving to be all things to all people.
But not every business is looking for a “one size fits all” cloud vendor. Many applications and workloads require highly specialized infrastructure and network architecture. Fortunately for them, the cloud industry has seen tremendous innovation at the margins as smaller providers look to compete against hyperscalers by offering customized and niche compute solutions. Thanks to hybrid and multi-cloud architecture, it’s much easier for companies to integrate these specialized providers into their tech stack while still leveraging existing colocated assets and other cloud services.
Regulatory Compliance Levels
Concerns about compliance once caused many companies to be skeptical about the viability of cloud computing services. For industries like healthcare and financial services, the idea of entrusting secure data with a third party and surrendering direct control over infrastructure was simply a non-starter. Over the years, however, cloud providers have demonstrated that not only are their services highly secure and capable of meeting key regulatory requirements, but also that they can protect sensitive data more effectively than most on-premises solutions.
Today’s cloud providers offer data governance tools that allow their customers to have extensive control over their information and applications while the provider focuses on maintaining a secure and compliant environment for those assets. Since maintaining a highly secure infrastructure for their customers is a core business and operational function for cloud providers, they dedicate a lot of resources to it and tend to be quite good at it. For most businesses, maintaining an on-prem data solution is just one component of what they do. Even a dedicated IT department has many responsibilities beyond infrastructure and compliance management, which makes it hard for them to maintain the same level of vigilance.
Leveraging Cloud Maturity with Evoque
In order to take full advantage of maturing cloud services, organizations must take an applications-first approach that positions their mission-critical workloads in environments that will optimize performance and reliability. For some applications, that could be a purely cloud-based deployment that leverages the managed services of a hyperscale provider. In other cases, it might mean leveraging the unique capabilities of a highly specialized cloud service within a dynamic hybrid deployment.
Evoque Data Center Solutions offers a wide range of digital infrastructure services that help organizations build robust, scalable environments capable of meeting their evolving business needs. From our global network of colocation data centers to our cloud engineering services, we provide a multi-generational approach to infrastructure that puts a premium on control and flexibility. To learn more about what our best-in-breed approach to hybrid IT architecture can do for your organization, talk to one of our solutions experts today.