According to Market Monitor, a service of 451 Research, cloud computing sales are predicted to grow at a 36% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2012 ($5.7 billion) and the end of 2016 ($20 billion). Other research firms, such as Gartner, predict even higher growth potential. For many MSPs, those numbers don’t hold a lot of meaning until the MSP knows which cloud services are largely responsible for these growth numbers and to confirm there is a channel play for these services.
Fortunately, there is compelling research that addresses both concerns. According to 451 Research, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) will attain a 41% CAGR through 2016, generating 24% of total cloud revenue. The next highest cloud growth service will be Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), which is predicted to reach 37% CAGR through 2016, generating 51% of cloud revenue. Interestingly, Gartner’s research pretty much flips these two categories, predicting IaaS will be the top growing cloud service (41% CAGR between 2011 and 2016) with PaaS coming in second (nearly 28% CAGR between 2011 and 2016).
The reality is that PaaS and IaaS services often go hand-in-hand. Both eliminate upfront capital expenses for hardware, ongoing maintenance costs and the expense of office space to store the equipment. They also free up time for IT staff to focus on more strategic issues for their organization, versus infrastructure.
IaaS offers virtual (as well as physical) machines, servers, storage options, load balancers, and networks, and it enables organizations to outsource their hardware/infrastructure to a service provider that hosts the equipment in a secure data center, accessing it via the Internet.
PaaS focuses more on operating systems, databases, web servers, and development tools. PaaS service providers offer tools such as application development collaborative tools, application design, Web application management, and others over the Internet that help organizations with team members in multiple locations to more effectively collaborate on projects.
If you’re considering adding PaaS and IaaS services to your current cloud services offerings, you’ll have several options to consider. Check out a recent article I wrote for some helpful tips to start that process: Looking To Grow your Cloud Revenue? Don’t Pass on PaaS.