As you may know, Microsoft sponsors many studies of the market dynamics that effect business and business IT today. One of those studies focuses specifically on the Cloud and Hosting market and has been executed by 451 Research in recent years.

In the first blog of this series, I was reviewing the first time I saw this years’ study presented by the lead analyst from 451, Michelle Bailey at the Microsoft Cloud & Hosting Summit. Just this week, Michelle presented for Microsoft at Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in Toronto and while the data was the same there were a couple of areas that I thought were worth sharing.

Digital Transformation is uneven, meaning that some organisations are transforming their existing motions while others are pursuing much more radical transformation. What jumped out at me this time was that this actually leads to two different kinds of opportunities and that those of us looking to enable Digital Transformation would be wise to have offers that fits the needs of both kinds of organisations.
Transformation Services

What you can see in this visual it the services resonating with customers both radically transforming and those with low levels of transformation. For me, the highlight here is that for those looking to fully embrace Digital Transformation, there is a lot of opportunity to really help customers embrace the change with migration, assessment, planning, management and Cloud adoption services jumping off the page. For those looking to leverage Digital Transformation in smaller ways, such as to enhance existing systems or practices, Security service and private Cloud look like fantastic opportunities for those of us in the Cloud services world.

The other area of study that really struck home this time was the deep dive that 451  did around customers choices of multiple services providers and solution providers for their Cloud needs.

hosted customer segment

What you are seeing in this chart is that while most customers have and will have multiple providers of services and solutions in the Cloud, the primary provider will take the lion’s share of the business and then a worldwide breakdown of the opportunity within various customer size segments.

451 also went the added mile to look into not only customer satisfaction but also customer evangelism. It goes without saying that getting paid is a good thing and having happy customers is very important. But one of the ultimate tests of satisfaction is when customers are willing to recommend and evangelise their service provider.


451 made this a little easier for us by studying the reasons that customers would have negative things to say. Interesting to note, that “Economical/ low cost” comes in behind both staff exceeding expectations and company trustworthiness, but all of these factors are important and it can act a bit like a roadmap as well as criteria to focus on for both development, but also internal reviews.

Here’s a link to a press release about the annual study with a link to the study towards the bottom.

By, Boughty Canton, VP Products & Services, rhipe Solutions