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Niche cloud firms must collaborate to tackle 'big five' providers
Tue, 6th Aug 2019
FYI, this story is more than a year old

The ‘big five' infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) providers are dominating the cloud market, leaving smaller, niche providers in their wake – and it's time for smaller providers to fight back.

Gartner names the five largest players as Alibaba, Amazon Web Services, Google, IBM, and Microsoft, which dominate a combined 77% of the IaaS market.

According to Memset chief commercial officer Chris Burden, it's time for the smaller cloud providers to do something about it.

The only way for smaller providers to do that is to collaborate with other niche technology providers to offer a fuller stack of services. Furthermore, smaller providers should play to their strengths of personalisation and better customer relationships. This ‘community spirit' is the only method by which smaller providers can tackle the ‘big five'.

“The latest cloud industry report is not all good news. While it is great to know that the industry is growing, the report also exposes the challenges that lay ahead for small cloud providers like Memset. In the light of increasing competition from the Big Five, it has become important that small cloud providers play to their strengths and collaborate more with other niche players,” comments Burden.

He notes that Memset is building a marketplace platform later this year in order to create a community of smaller cloud vendors, and opportunities to grow.

“With global organisations betting big on IT outsourcing and ‘as a service' cloud models, it has become increasingly important that businesses and SMEs opt for multiple cloud suppliers and not just a single hyperscaler,” he continues.

“Not only do niche cloud providers offer secure and reliable cloud services, they also tailor their services to suit the client. This personalised and cost-efficient model can definitely not be expected from the big five.

“Another advantage of small cloud vendor is how they pledge to keep data in certain jurisdictions and also provide evidence to their customers that they are meeting those commitments.

This has become increasingly important in the light of growing data scandals and data sovereignty issues.

“Security also often falls short when customers choose to work with a large, hyperscale cloud services providers without an intermediary, because the platforms are complicated and difficult to safely manage without the right in-house technical skills or experience.

Burden reiterates that it is only through collaboration that smaller cloud providers can increase their share in the IaaS market, so that they can break the monopoly that the ‘big five' hold.