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There is no clear winner among cloud computing vendors at the moment. But cloud professional services are growing like no other.

Technology Business Research Inc.’s (TBR) 2H14 cloud customer research reports revealed that users are jumping onto cloud professional services vendors at twice the rate of private and public cloud vendors.

The end users, TBR officials reported this month, want cloud professional services as the entry point for the guidance and education as their enterprises migrate to the cloud. 

No Winners? 

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But is there a true best of breed in the cloud space yet?

No, says Cassandra Mooshian, an analyst in the cloud practice division for TBR, based in Hampton, N.H.

"There are currently two camps of cloud vendors," Mooshian told CMSWire. "The 'born on the cloud' vendors that are targeting growth, but running at a loss, which is not sustainable over the long term. And the traditional vendors that are grappling with trying to stay true to their tenured portfolios while also appealing to cloud buyers. Neither camp is winning right now, and I think that over the long term, the 'best of breed' model will be some sort of hybrid between the two camps."

Forrester did pick some individual winners of the cloud game recently.

Inside the Numbers 

TBR also predicted that public, private and hybrid cloud integration will follow cloud professional services growth in coming years -- private cloud adoption rate will reach 85 percent by 2018, TBR officials projected.

TBR officials also found:

  • A 65 percent to 35 percent split for third-party-delivered private clouds to self-built private clouds, which indicates enterprises are "more comfortable with and educated on cloud and are growing their cloud-related skill sets"
  • The 2014 private cloud market opportunity is $41 billion and is expected to grow at a 15 percent CAGR to $72 billion in 2018
  • Private cloud budgets declined year-to-year in dollar value and as a percentage of cloud spend in 2H14 as the proliferation of open-source public cloud offerings gained in popularity
  • 22 percent of the large enterprise market has integrated cloud across their IT environments, creating a $7 billion hybrid integration market in 2014 

TBR surveys users in the private cloud, professional services and hybrid cloud arenas. It surveys organizations across industries -- aside from those that offer cloud solutions -- in the US, UK, France, Germany, India and China. In the US, it surveys companies with over 500 FTEs and all other countries, companies with more than 250 FTEs.

It has conducted cloud professional services studies since 2010 and private and hybrid cloud studies since shortly thereafter.

Google Search: 'Cloud Services'

Mooshian said she was surprised there is still a lack of understanding around all of the capabilities a cloud solution and the best practices customers should adopt when utilizing their cloud solutions.

"So there is still a lack of vendor-led education and case studies in the market," she said. "Many cloud buyers are still doing internet searches and looking for customer reviews."

One thing that did not surprise the TBR analyst was that security remains the biggest barrier to cloud adoption.

But it is also, Mooshian said, "a leading benefit of private cloud adoption and cloud professional services adoption due to the inherently secure nature of these cloud delivery methods. As a result, security is also the area vendors have the most opportunity to differentiate, and since security is so important, there is more flexibility to charge higher prices."

Some though, are still reluctant to go with a private cloud because of security and fear of giving up ownership and control, Mooshian said. 

"There is also often a conflict between the IT and LOB sides of the house among enterprises," she said, "which then delays or stops any cloud adoption from happening."

Title image by Chris Fifield-Smith (Flickr) via a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license.