Steve Garone

The Cloud Services Landscape: Adding Value Customers Can Appreciate

Blog Post created by Steve Garone Employee on Sep 30, 2016

This blog is the first in an ongoing series that will focus on HDS and its cloud service providers. Over time, as you follow this blog series, you will gain insight into
how HDS and these important partners work together to deliver the cloud services customers need. 


Cloud adoption has progressed on its predicted path for a number of years now as organizations have grown more comfortable with leveraging the cloud and technology and financial models have helped them align their businesses to the cloud model.  Ultimately, of course, cloud is about delivering the services all stakeholders need or want. These services fall in a variety of categories (infrastructure, platform, and software as a service, web-based services) and can be delivered via several cloud-based delivery models (private, public, hybrid, managed services), and can cover a variety of use cases and workloads (data protection, storage as a service, enterprise applications, and analytics, as examples).  Deciding on the right combination of delivery and financial models can be a daunting task for many organizations, which need to factor into their decision issues such as their available skills and resources, security and compliance needs, performance requirements and SLAs, use cases and workloads, and, of course, the costs associated with each choice.


Some of these decisions – the financial ones in particular – can be complex and may require detailed technical and economic analyses. In situations where cloud makes sense but owning a cloud doesn’t, service providers can be a good option. Just as clouds come in a variety of forms, so do they.  Some specialize in delivering infrastructure services; others focus more on delivering specific enterprise application functionality.  Some have specific vertical market or compliance expertise that they can deliver via the cloud.  Of course, hyperscale cloud providers such as Amazon and Microsoft are in this mix as well, posing a challenge to those who may find themselves vying for customers from the same pool.  It may sometimes seem as if a hyperscale provider is the easiest choice, but once on board organizations can encounter cost containment and predictability issues, and sometimes difficulties in navigating an exit.


So the question becomes, how can service providers add value that distinguishes them from larger and perhaps more established players in the eyes of their target customers?  We’ve alluded to some possible ways above – deliver services tailored to specific uses with which the provider has unique domain experience and can therefore not only deliver a service on a network, but also assist the customer in extracting the most value from that service.  In addition to focusing on what is delivered, a service provider can also distinguish itself by how services are delivered.  Organizations don’t just need IT – they need IT that is robust and flexible enough to securely and consistently meet SLAs.  A significant factor in fulfilling IT delivery requirements is building them on the right infrastructure – compute, storage, and software resources designed for the cloud. HDS partners with a number of carefully selected providers, combining our infrastructure, software, security, and management capabilities with their cloud services expertise to bring cost-effective, reliable options
to customers.  Some specializes in addressing the needs of local markets; others have a global footprint. We choose partners based on their ability to provide unique value to specific customer segments, and offer them financial options that align closely with the business models they need to apply to customer relationships.  We also assist them with programs and assets that help them develop and deploy their services more quickly, and with designing and executing a more effective go-to-market strategy.


With future blogs, we’ll examine products, financial models, and other aspects of cloud service delivery that impact the choices customers need to make to succeed with their digital transformation efforts.  In the meantime, learn more about our cloud service provider partners.