Channel partners need to understand that the future is hybrid.

Lynn Haber

February 4, 2020

4 Min Read
Hybrid clouds

Midmarket firms are in active adoption mode when it comes to hybrid cloud, according to a recent worldwide survey by Techaisle. Small business adoption of hybrid cloud is gaining momentum.

Techaisle’s SMB and Midmarket Cloud adoption survey results show that 37% of midmarket firms using cloud opt for hybrid cloud, up from 28% in 2018, and the hybrid cloud market is expected to capture an even greater percentage of midmarket firms over the next 12 months. Hybrid cloud deployments are moving from public clouds with hybrid workloads at 17%, up from 12% in 2018. The U.S. leads the pack, with healthy usage also reported in Europe and Asia Pacific.

While the survey results didn’t demonstrate a clear trend on the type of workloads on hybrid clouds, the report authors suggest that deployments are specific to a customer’s needs and application delivery partner’s expertise. Typical hybrid workloads include, ERP, HR, CRM, finance operations, IoT, analytics, AI, machine learning, SAP 4/HANA deployments, disaster recovery, critical event management, mass storage, cloud security and cloud database.

Microsoft Azure and AWS are used by more than 90% of U.S. midmarket firms.


Techaisle’s Anurag Agrawal

“Partners delivering cloud solutions to SMBs and midmarket customers reveal that Azure Stack is the most popular platform because of Microsoft’s proactive engagement, powerful and extensive Microsoft ecosystem, as well as deep product portfolio. Google Anthos and AWS Outposts are picking up pace,” according to the report.

The survey results also uncovered some insight into the extend that midmarket cloud users align different delivery methods with internal requirements.

“Detailed analysis and segmentation of data reveals that there are pockets of demand, and overlap in these pockets, that exist for public, private and hybrid models in each segment,” the report states.

For example, larger midmarket firms are likely to employ multiple cloud delivery strategies, with 18% of midmarket firms that use the cloud reporting they deploy public, private and hybrid cloud. That said, more than one-half (51%) rely on a single delivery approach for cloud and 31% use only private.

Twenty-nine percent of midmarket businesses use two different delivery approaches, with the most common being a combination of private and public models, but not in a hybrid setting. Firms in these overlap areas are not, on average, larger than those using a single delivery method, but they do face added complexity in that they tend to have more locations.

Turning to small businesses, Techaisle found that when they looked at the highest proportion of cloud using small business, they were using private cloud. Less than 10% use only public cloud, and a small percentage use a hybrid approach to connect public and private clouds.

A Techaisle survey takeaway: Microsoft Azure leads for hybrid cloud deployments across the SMB segment.

“Channel partners are using Azure tools to deliver many business outcomes for SMB customers. Some of the targeted successes are …

… increasing productivity, lowering cost of operations, reducing risks, managing compliance needs and augmenting scalability.”

Another consideration for channel partners: “The sooner channel partners understand that the future Is hybrid, the better it is for them,” Anurag Agrawal, CEO and analyst at Techaisle, told Channel Futures.

Agrawal outlines three areas channel partners should focus on:

  • Building and augmenting cloud application delivery, which includes migration of applications to hybrid cloud workloads. Azure is the platform of choice and most channel partners are already vested in Microsoft, so it should be an easy extension for them. Open source is growing in its adoption, and learning about Red Hat solutions for orchestration and automation will be a wise initiative. But not all channel partners will have the capacity or the will to move into application delivery and migration.

  • Pre-packaged hybrid delivery solutions such as hybrid cloud security, hybrid DRS and many others. They are easy to understand, easy to deploy and easy to manage, adding not only margins for partners but also provide a new recurring revenue stream. Partners can work directly with vendor partners or can work through distribution, which is already configuring hybrid deployment solutions. Pre-packaged solutions will have an added advantage of building a channel partner’s own IP — a direction most partners are moving.

  • Hybrid IT services is another area which includes consultative engagements consisting of architecting, deploying, supporting hybrid solutions.

“Needless to say, some of these will require an increased investment in staff training, certification to increase professional services revenue with a focus on containers (Kubernetes), microservices, open source, agile development to deliver cloud apps for customers’ customer facing apps as well as apps to support customers’ internal processes and operations. But this will be necessary for the next decade. What got channel partners here today will not be enough to get them through the next decade,” said Agrawal.

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MSPsChannel Research

About the Author(s)

Lynn Haber

Content Director Lynn Haber follows channel news from partners, vendors, distributors and industry watchers. If I miss some coverage, don’t hesitate to email me and pass it along. Always up for chatting with partners. Say hi if you see me at a conference!

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