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In this overview of the state of play in enterprise cloud services, we consider the technologies and services that the leading global infrastructure- and platform-as-a-service providers will focus on in 2017 and beyond.


  • The report focuses on four big bets for cloud service providers: enterprise production workloads, AI as a cloud service, the rise of the services integrator, and abstracting the infrastructure layer.

Features and Benefits

  • Understand what the global cloud SPs are focusing on and why.
  • Read Ovum’s unique insights into the service provider's role in the world of hybrid IT.

Key questions answered

  • What workloads are cloud SPs targeting in the world of hybrid IT?
  • Why should ICT service providers partner rather than compete with the global cloud SPs?

Table of contents


  • In brief
  • Ovum view
  • Key messages
  • Recommendations

Public cloud services continue to gain credibility for an expanding portfolio of production workloads

  • The lines are blurring between IaaS and PaaS
  • Global public cloud providers expand local delivery
  • Line-of-business procurement continues to shape the public cloud market
  • Traditional ISVs face challenges from new CSP migration services
  • In 2017, a cloud is not an enterprise cloud unless it supports SAP S/4HANA
  • CSPs line up for the next big wave of SAP refreshes

AI, ML, and NLP will become as essential a cloud service as mobile developer toolkits

  • Cloud is where developers go first, but their loyalties can be fickle
  • CSPs provide access to their cognitive computing technologies
  • By 2018, AI-powered agents will manage the digital front office, creating more pull-through for back-office cloud processes

Systems integrators evolve into services integrators in the multicloud world of hybrid IT

  • SIs in particular have to adapt to the cloud services hierarchy to survive; other service providers will follow suit
  • Those CSPs that can't differentiate their services will be on the wrong side of inevitable market consolidation in 3–5 years
  • Private cloud is no less important than public cloud for most large enterprises
  • Global CSPs trumpet local certification and drive support for industry certification – it's in their interests
  • The ability to manage multimodal IT is becoming the SIs' and managed services providers' USP
  • In a multicloud world, service providers must be cloud-agnostic partners to all
  • The orchestration layer is the new middleware
  • Orchestration remains a central process for any service provider claiming to be a services integrator

The abstraction layer will continue to move up the stack

  • Cloud technology will increasingly hide the infrastructure layer from its users
  • Serverless computing has the potential to remove infrastructure management from job profiles, but it will not happen in 2017
  • Enterprises still want managed services, but now they have more options
  • AWS leads the way and yet again challenges its partners
  • Managed services are the thread running through IaaS developments in 2017 and beyond
  • Managed cloud "as-a-service" will force service providers to choose carefully between competition and partnership


  • Further reading
  • Author

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