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Cloud services market set to grow - and grow

For small and medium sized businesses (SMBs), all roads lead to cloud-based services to meet their high-growth needs.

According to a recent report by Odin, SMBs in the U.S. are increasingly relying on cloud service providers (CSPs) to help accelerate their growth, manage infrastructure and provide a consistent customer experience.

The report projects that the SMB cloud services market will grow at an 11.4% compound annual growth rate – from $25.2bn in 2015 to $34.9bn in 2018. Odin defines four key categories of cloud-based services, representing the most significant growth-drivers for SMBs:

  • Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS): cloud-based business servers, add-on applications and services for hosted IT infrastructure such as control panels, development platforms, security, and server backup.

  • Web presence and web applications: third-party web hosting, domain registration, and web applications including tools like content management systems (CMS), e-commerce platforms, web server security and backup.

  • Unified communications: business-class email services, mobility and hosted business voice services, and communication and collaboration applications such as web and phone conferencing, and mobile device management (MDM).

  • Business applications (also known as software-as-a-service or SaaS): business software applications that can be accessed online covering needs such as customer relationship management (CRM), payroll and human resources (HR), support and help desk, and virtual desktop (VDI).

While the figures from the States are particularly promising, the cloud adoption trend isn't confined to North America. Putting a global perspective on the cloud landscape, the latest worldwide market study by International Data Corporation (IDC) reveals that Western Europe is expected to see the biggest surge in cloud IT infrastructure spending in 2015, with a growth rate of 32% – closely followed by Latin America (23%) and Japan (22%).

Kuba Storlarski, research manager at International Data Corporation, comments: “The pace of adoption of cloud-based platforms will not abate for quite some time, resulting in cloud IT infrastructure expansion continuing to outpace the growth of the overall IT infrastructure market for the foreseeable future.”

DAs the data reflects, increasing numbers of organisations are realising that “traditional” in-house infrastructure management simply doesn't stack up against the simplicity, flexibility and scalability of the cloud.

However, Odin's report also threw up some interesting insights on key areas for improvement most frequently requested of CSPs. Improving performance (23%), the support experience (22%) and addressing security (21%) were the top three – illustrating that CSPs can't afford to rest on their laurels and rely on guaranteed demand. As the market grows and becomes increasingly competitive, CSPs will have to work hard to win and retain custom by providing exceptional levels of uptime, value for money and customer service.

At censhare, we're proud to deliver a flexible cloud offering that enables our clients to seamlessly integrate intelligent business communication solutions for engaging customer experiences into an existing IT infrastructure. censhare Cloud uses market-leading Amazon Web Services for its application-oriented cloud solutions, ensuring global reach, 100 percent availability and low latency.

To find out more about how censhare cloud, SaaS and on-premises solutions can enable businesses of all sizes to grow – and to identify the best option for any given company – take a look at the range of customised censhare solutions.