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Introduction

As companies contemplate how the cloud can fit into their IT and business plans, two recurring concerns are present: performance and security. As data from Stratecast’s 2014 Cloud Computing survey demonstrates, more than half of the survey respondents rated several criteria as “very important” in their decisions not to use the cloud.2
Despite these reservations, cloud adoption is on a positive trajectory. In comparison of 2014 survey results with those from 2013, the following conclusions were drawn:
- The percentage of companies using public cloud has more than tripled.
- The percentage of companies planning to implement public cloud has doubled.
- The percentage of companies choosing not to implement public cloud has declined by more than half.
Furthermore, when Stratecast probed into anticipated cloud benefits, a number of strategic and tactical benefits were selected by a majority of cloud adopters (see chart on the following page).

This dichotomy of concerns but adoption leads to the question of how are the concerns being mitigated such that adoption is gaining momentum? Certainly, cloud maturity and increasing awareness are contributors. Nevertheless, we believe there is another contributor: third-party assistance. Companies are partnering with cloud management providers (CMPs) and other third parties to overcome Use of third-party providers is not new. During periods of rapidly changing technology, and circumstances that can quickly outstrip a company’s ability to adequately staff and stay abreast in best practices, use of third-party providers ramps up.

For example, Frost & Sullivan projects double-digit annual market growth in both professional and managed security services in North America, through 2018, with each market driven by changes in the threat landscape.3 Thus, with the ascension of the cloud, and changes in the provider community and new services and features being a routine occurrence, the need for navigational assistance is not surprising. What is potentially more interesting is how the surgical focus of CMPs on their customers’ workloads will change how IT and security technologies and services will be procured and used in the future. This is the topic of this SPIE.

Table Of Contents

Filling the Void in Cloud Adoption with Cloud Management Providers
Introduction
Cloud Adopters Calling Out for Assistance
Cloud Management Providers Aim to Demonstrate a Highly Positive Return
CMPs Follow an Integrated and Continuous Customer-Servicing Approach
Three Attributes to Building Long-Lasting Customer Relationships
The Long-Distance Impact of CMPs
Stratecast - The Last Word
About Stratecast
About Frost and Sullivan

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