Five top cloud industry growth opportunities in 2021

Five top cloud industry growth opportunities in 2021

Next year looks bright for third-party managed or professional services providers

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Managed services

With 64 per cent of organisations globally engaging third-party managed or professional services providers to assist with their cloud journeys, and another 27 per cent considering it, managed service providers are in for a pipeline full of work in the coming year. 

“As the COVID-19 crisis has revealed, it is not enough to place a few workloads in a public cloud,” the business research and consulting firm said. “To prepare for the post-COVID-19 economy, businesses need assistance in transforming their operations and organisations.”

The services of greatest demand include backup and recovery procedures, managing organisational and cultural changes and developing a cloud strategy and roadmap. 

According to Frost & Sullivan, all cloud industry ecosystem players — in particular managed services providers — should make an effort to mask the worst of the complexity of cloud transformations from businesses, giving them the headspace to focus on their applications and business operations, rather than workload integrations. 


Far from seeing demand dry up as public cloud gains pace, the colocation market is seeing rapid growth, with data centre and interconnection facilities in great demand. Both retail and wholesale colocation continue to grow. 

Indeed, 47 per cent of organisations use colocation services today, according to Frost & Sullivan’s research, with another 37 per cent planning to add it to their infrastructure mix in the next two years.

Frost & Sullivan suggests this growth is being driven by a broader need for decentralised compute and storage resources which, in turn, is being influenced by the rise of edge computing, with workloads moving closer to where the data is collected or used. 

“Colocation meets that need for enterprise and service providers,” Frost & Sullivan said.

Digital overconfidence

Finally, the plight of what Frost & Sullivan calls ‘digital overconfidence’ — a scenario in which organisations erroneously judge their own digital capabilities and maturity to be above and beyond their competitors’ — represents an area for providers to capitalise on.

According to the business consulting firm’s research, 67 per cent of businesses worldwide assess their digital disruption efforts to be ahead of others in their industry. 

At the same time, however, only 16 per cent of businesses meet the highest standards in Frost & Sullivan’s own Cloud Maturity Model, which looks at factors such as hybrid and multi-cloud adoption, modern app development and flexible networking, among other elements. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has in some ways highlighted the rift between those organisations that are truly digitally advanced and those that are comparative laggards in their digital journeys, regardless of how they see themselves.

What this means for technology services providers is that they have the opportunity to help businesses understand not only the benefits of adopting a comprehensive hybrid cloud strategy, but also the risks of not taking appropriate action. 

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