September 12, 2012
apple icloudAs Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) launches the iPhone 5 today, cloud services providers (CSPs) and channel partners should keep a particularly close eye on Apple’s iCloud strategy.
Background: Cloud storage remains a huge opportunity for CSPs. Plus, Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) vendors are working closely with MSPs to protect customers’ server and desktop data. In fact, cloud backup and storage specialists like Datto and Axcient — both of which work closely with MSPs — recently landed on the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest growing privately held companies. That’s impressive.
I’m not suggesting that Apple iCloud could completely disrupt CSPs, BDR providers and their MSPs. But consider this: From iCloud’s launch in October 2011 through Apple’s July 2012 earnings announcement, the company said more than 150 million users embraced iCloud services.
And remember: Apple has corporate momentum. During a July 2012 earnings call, Apple said iPhone use in the Fortune 500 has more than doubled in the past year. Meanwhile, a lot of CSPs and BDR providers remain focused on PC and server data protection, and don’t really have mobile device management (MDM) and bring your own device (BYOD) policies and services in place yet.
Cloud Storage Is Part of the Story
Yes, iCloud is a backup and recovery service. But Apple has wisely positioned it as so much more. The simple idea: Give users the power to access their content from any device. Plus, iCloud is built into every new iOS device (iPhone 5 likely included) and every new Mac.
For CSPs and BDR providers and MSPs the key takeaways are clear:
You’ve got to extend your thinking beyond data protection, which will become a commodity over the next few years.
You need to understand how and why customers want to access any application or service from any device.
And you need business solutions, driving profitable margins, to support customers’ any-to-any desires.
I suspect the iCloud story will continue during the iPhone 5 launch today. And we’ll be back with updated views.
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