When All Else Fails, Be A Niche Player

It’s important to know where you stand. Like people, companies can be delusional about their chance of success in a given market. In the cloud industry, it happens quite a lot. Having Amazon, Microsoft, and IBM as competitors leaves little room for success, which means you need to strategize the hell out of your business.

‘A four horse race’

The people at Synergy Research recently posted an interesting report up on their web site, noting that the cloud industry – as far as service providers are concerned – is a four-horse race. Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft, IBM and Google are commanding the markets for IaaS (Internet as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service), and private & hybrid cloud services, but not everywhere and not for everyone.

Q2 data from the research group shows that the four tech giants have a lot going for themselves, controlling over half of the worldwide cloud infrastructure segment, with a combined market share of 54% (up from 46% in Q2 2014 and 41% in Q2 2013). Their revenue growth rate averaged 84% in Q2 YoY (year over year), while the rest of the market trailed with just 33%. Adding insult to injury, each of the big four players increased their share of the worldwide market in the second quarter of 2015. AWS alone holds a handsome 29% slice of that pie.

Quarterly cloud infrastructure service revenues are circling the $6 billion mark, according to Synergy. For a 12-month period, the group projects revenues of $20 billion. North America is the distant leader, trailed by the EMEA and APAC regions. The news may sounds bad for small-to-medium providers, but Synergy assures them it’s not. Quite the opposite actually.

When All Else Fails, Be A Niche Player

A trail of dust that’s riddled with opportunities

According to the firm’s leading analyst, John Dinsdale, the cloud infrastructure services market is bifurcating, and the gap between the big four cloud providers and the rest of the SP community is widening every day, with no signs of stopping. However, “The good news for the plethora of small-to-medium-sized cloud providers is that there does remain a wealth of opportunity for those that are focused on specific market niches or local geographic areas,” says Dinsdale.

In other words, be a niche player: investigate your clients’ needs and see where you can sell a custom solution that covers specific scenarios. Amazon and IBM are busy chasing the big fish and there’s little you can do about it, but there are still a lot of smaller ones waiting for the lure to sink.

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