Cloud Computing: From Servers to SaaS

Marissa Tejada| Midsizeinsider

Servers will increasingly be shipped to cloud service providers, a new survey by IDC finds, as cloud computing creates a shift in how servers are being used in today’s business world. This trend shows that more businesses are choosing to migrate to the cloud and software-as-a-service (SaaS).

Shipments for the Cloud

According to InfoWorld, IDC predicts that up to 30 percent of all servers that will be shipped in 2014 will be shipped to cloud services providers. Within four years, that number will increase to 45 percent. Part of the reason for this is that IT professionals are aiming to lessen the amount of servers that they manage. Other reasons include increased implementation of SaaS and virtualization technologies and plans by firms for data center consolidation. Businesses are getting rid of certain servers to acquire denser servers that can handle larger amounts of data.

The server, according to the survey, is not going away anytime soon. IT professionals will still be required to manage them, but the numbers shipped will simply be less, according to projections based upon the market trends and what IT professionals understand about managing them. IDC predicts that server revenue will decrease by about 3.5 percent this year. Those that remain interested in purchasing servers will seek integrated systems that do more by combining server, storage, networking and software. This group of firms makes up 10 percent of the market and will double by 2020, according to IDC.

Midsize Migrations

Midsize companies will opt to move away from managing in-house systems as they seek to implement third-platform technologies such as virtualization and cloud computing. The logical alternative and best solution is SaaS. Since time, money and resources are a constant concern at midsize firms, the benefits of SaaS solutions are being considered more than ever. With SaaS, growing firms can add new services or replace existing ones without complexity. Midsize firms are finding that SaaS enables them to save money because they do not need to purchase as much physical hardware. They can save time by working with cloud partners who help to manage the servers needed and customize and maintain the software that helps the business become more productive. Firms are also spending less time on maintenance and administrative costs.

As more midsize firms seek SaaS, cloud vendors will continue to innovate to provide the specific solutions necessary to help growing companies reach their business goals. IT professionals at midsize firms may not have the time or knowledge to integrate SaaS or to successfully plan a proper data center consolidation project. By working with experienced vendors, IT professionals can lessen their IT footprint in the most effective way possible while considering other IT business goals, including matters such as data security, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and big data analytics.

Needs Change

The types of businesses that require physical servers are changing as more companies opt to explore the benefits of SaaS. Cloud services providers are taking a larger part of the server market as a result. These vendors will have the golden opportunity to help midsize firms realize their potential and to work with them to implement the best solutions to increase productivity through the cloud.

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