Analyst firm IDC’s study on top providers for infrastructure as a service (IaaS) in the US has placed IBM, Cisco, HP and AT&T as the top four for cloud services, with Google in fifth position, Microsoft Azure sixth and AWS seventh.
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More than 400 US enterprises responding to IDC’s survey named IBM, followed by Cisco and HP, as the top three suppliers that can “most effectively” provide IaaS for private or public cloud platforms.
Some 35% of US enterprise respondents chose IBM as their top overall preference for cloud services, whether private or public. IBM's IaaS platforms include SoftLayer, the company it acquired for about $2bn in June 2013, and IBM Cloud Managed Services.
Just 13% of respondents rated Amazon as the top cloud provider, and Microsoft and Google came in at 15% and 16%, respectively. HP, which is investing $1bn in cloud-related products, shared third position with AT&T. Other cloud suppliers, such as Dell, VMware, Rackspace, EMC, BT and Capgemini, each received less than 10% of enterprise votes.
Cloud providers were also rated on their quality of service for availability, speed of provisioning, simplicity and overall cost.
A majority of respondents (52%) indicated a strong preference for full-service providers, such as IBM, for their broad capabilities – professional services, consulting systems integration, custom software development and testing – which are needed to support buyers moving to cloud services.
One surprise finding of the study was that less than 5% of enterprises said they prefer their cloud infrastructure provider to be an online supplier, such as Amazon or Google.
Jim Comfort, general manager, cloud services at IBM, said: "We believe this new IDC report, based on actual client preferences, underscores IBM's overall leadership in cloud computing."
IBM is investing billions in its cloud services to provide a wide range of services, including infrastructure, platform and software-as-a-service. “We are expanding our global datacentre footprint, opening our software to the cloud for developers, and making cloud services easily accessible through an online cloud marketplace,” Comfort said.
In addition to its overall top ranking, IBM was also rated the leader in six industry sectors, including financial services, manufacturing, healthcare, professional services, wholesale and retail, and the public sector (government departments).
But, according to IDC, although the study revealed US enterprises’ preferred cloud service providers today, “the long-term winners competing in the cloud market will need to build their business models to an end-state structure that mimics the auto industry and, increasingly, [the market] will be dominated by more pure-play cloud service providers”.
David Tapper, vice-president of outsourcing and offshore services at IDC, said suppliers competing in the cloud services market are using a broad range of business models.
"Success for all players in the outsourced-managed cloud services market requires them to have a clear definition of player business models and strategies to assess the gap between current business models used for cloud services and brand positioning,” he said.