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cloud marketplacesMost managed services providers also resell products, so how end customers acquire software still matters in the age of the cloud. In theory, most customers are downloading software from cloud marketplaces that the major public cloud providers have opened.

But, a survey of 104 senior IT leaders published this week by Dendo, a provider of data virtualization software, suggests the number of transactions being conducted via these online stores is relatively minimal. Only 8.2 percent of the respondents reported using the online store managed by Amazon Web Services (AWS). Fewer still (3.2 percent) say they have used the Microsoft Azure store.

Insight into cloud habits

In general, the respondents are highly active when it comes to public cloud usage. A full 77 percent report using one or more public cloud services. Nearly half are employing AWS (48 percent), and a quarter (25 percent) are employing Microsoft Azure. Google Cloud Platform is the next biggest platform in terms of usage (13 percent).

Overall, the report finds that about 34 percent of the infrastructure these organizations employ resides in a public cloud. Nearly half (49 percent) cited platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environments as their preferred model for cloud services. That suggests many of the respondents are building software rather than purchasing it. But even allowing for custom application development, reliance on online marketplaces remains light.

It’s worth noting that from a managed security perspective, only as third of the respondents admitted to storing sensitive data in the cloud, which helps account for why only 36 percent are employing cloud security services.

In term of reasons for employing public clouds, cost containment (46 percent) still outranks agility (31 percent) and scalability (29 percent) as the number one reason organizations are using public cloud. Plus, 56 percent report they are planning additional cloud initiatives in 2018.

Traditional purchasing mechanisms

Despite respondents’ high reliance on public clouds, the survey makes it clear that vendors and MSPs expecting IT organizations to navigate an online store to discover and then download software are going to be disappointed. It appears all the traditional mechanisms that IT organizations use to manage the purchasing process are still in place, including negotiating discounts. In fact, activity in brick-and-mortar malls that are shutting down across the U.S. appears robust compared to the amount of traffic being generated by cloud marketplaces. That’s good news for MSPs hoping to exercise some influence over what software ultimately gets deployed as customers continue to purchase software directly through them or an IT vendor that typically drives business to an MSP partner.

Another factor to consider is the need for software that can run both in the cloud and on premises. Half the respondents report using a hybrid cloud computing model. The two most popular forms are a private cloud integrated with on-premises IT (39 percent) and a public cloud integrated with on-premises IT (37 percent). About a quarter (23 percent) said their hybrid cloud was based on a private-to-public-cloud model.

The rise of online marketplaces in the cloud could still significantly alter the way software is acquired. But for the most part, it doesn’t appear online marketplaces set up by cloud services providers will be much of a factor anytime soon when it comes to how software is acquired in an enterprise IT setting.

Photo: A. and I. Kruk/

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Mike Vizard

Posted by Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard has covered IT for more than 25 years, and has edited or contributed to a number of tech publications including InfoWorld, eWeek, CRN, Baseline, ComputerWorld, TMCNet, and Digital Review. He currently blogs for IT Business Edge and contributes to CIOinsight, The Channel Insider, Programmableweb and Slashdot. Mike blogs about emerging cloud technology for Smarter MSP.

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