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For those who want to get into the cloud provider business, I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that at this point, the big players in the IaaS space look like they will be maintaining their position for the foreseeable future. The good news is that despite the lead these providers have, there is still room at the table for the contenders as long as they are willing to take steps that make them stand out from the pack.
Not long ago, David Linthicum wrote a column where he divided the cloud provider world into three tiers. In the highest tier are the big three who are able to continue investing money into their infrastructures, keeping them comfortably at the top. At the bottom are the hundreds of smaller companies offering various internet-based services. Despite being at the bottom of the totem pole, these companies have bright futures because they don’t have to compete with the big guys directly and instead can position their offerings to work with and supplement the offerings of the high-tier providers.
The prognosis Linthicum gives mid-tier providers is less than stellar. In the picture he paints, these mid-tier clouds are stormy and seem to lack a silver-lining. As they tend to compete directly with the high-tier, the message to the mid-tier seems to be “differentiate or die.”
So what are these mid-tier providers to do? A simple answer is to adopt a platform-as-a-service (PaaS). We’ve already seen a little bit of this happening, like I mentioned last week with Century Link and their Panamax offering. For those who don’t have the time or resources to develop a fully-fledged PaaS of their own, however, it may be worth looking to adapt their offerings to work with the PaaS offerings already on the market or to seek a partnership with one of those PaaS providers.
Progress helps these cloud providers add value to their infrastructure offerings with a high productivity and high control platform PaaS, Progress® Pacific™. Pacific provides a way to take advantage of the power of the cloud with low-code rapid application development through Progress® Rollbase® and powerful, open standard data integration through Progress® Easyl™ and Progress® DataDirect Cloud™. All of it is portable by leveraging Node.js on the Modulus™ platform. That means cloud providers can pass value directly to their end-users by providing tools along with the space to use them. Plus, users can leverage those tools immediately by deploying them in a hybrid environment during their migration to the cloud.
I can see those storm clouds clearing up already.
As the senior director of product marketing and strategy for the Progress solutions and audience marketing team, Paul Nashawaty keeps his eyes peeled on what enterprises are doing about big data as it relates to digital transformation. Paul is responsible for applying practical business methodologies using technological solutions to drive success in organizations.
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