Or what cloud buyers can learn from the convenience store revolution in retail…

Where once families used to go to out of town hypermarkets to buy lots of food in one weekly shop and potentially waste some of it, the trend now is to use convenience stores and shop intelligently. They now buy their meal for that evening from the convenience store, shop in a supermarket for non-perishable foods and toiletries, and then pop into the discounters Aldi and Lidl for bargains.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Hypermarkets and #cloud have more in common than you think ” user=”veberhost @comparethecloud” usehashtags=”no”]

For the major food retailers (such as Tesco, Asda, Sainsburys and Morrisons in the UK) this change to intelligent shopping has so far been an even greater disrupter than the move to internet shopping and delivery. It has forced many of the major food retailers (who were architects of their own doom in competing with rival convenience store strategies) to rationalise their estates. Several have opted to close a number of their out of town hypermarkets, along with other underperforming outlets; as well as putting expansion plans on hold and their land banks up for sale. Only a few years back this would have been unthinkable.

The parallels here with cloud and data centres are revealing

Not long ago pundits were predicting that the hyperscale public cloud vendors would sweep all before them, but a very different market dynamic is emerging as cloud clients learn to shop intelligently for their hybrid cloud needs.

  • The Hypermarket – public cloud: almost all firms now use the hyperscale public cloud vendors in some way or another – whether via strategic choice or shadow IT. When you need a lot of cloud for your money and the application or business operation is not mission critical and doesn’t need extensive adaptation to meet requirements, then it just makes sense. Each hypermarket has its own characteristics: I like the value you get at Asda or Morrisons, the range you get at Tesco or Sainsburys, and the quality that you get at Waitrose. Likewise in cloud. For example:
    • AWS has a vast array of offerings and even more on offer via its marketplace from its ecosystem of partners, but it doesn’t have a private cloud offering or the best integration with the main private cloud standard – OpenStack.
    • Microsoft has seamless integration between .NET environments and Azure with attractive cross licensing between the two. It is also the public cloud of choice for major OpenStack players such as Dell and HPE.
    • IBM and Oracle offer OpenStack-based hybrid environments This is via SoftLayer for IBM and via a bit of promise from Oracle that it will be big and price competitive in IaaS any time now!?!

[easy-tweet tweet=”Almost all firms now use the #hyperscale public #cloud vendors in some way or another” user=”veberhost”]

  • The Discounters – burst out capacity and long term storage: With Amazon Glacier at $0.007 per gb per year (yes that’s less than 1 cent) there’s little point in looking beyond the likes of AWS or maybe Azure for burst out capacity and long term storage. I mean this is a commoditised offering and who’s going to beat them on price?
  • The Convenience Store – private cloud and bespoke services: The reason that much of the focus is now on smaller more-focused local MSPs with niche capabilities and expertise (much like the focus in retail is on convenience stores) is that a one-fits-all approach is never going to work for everyone – or indeed for anyone with any kind of specialist need. For decades SAP tried to sell a standardised suite of applications to large organisations, seeking to persuade them that it could easily be tailored to meet their needs. However organisations found that they were all too different and that SAP implementation often become a massive drain on skills and resources – and once implemented it was a straight jacket restricting innovation. Cloud promised to free organisations from such restrictions, but for this to work they need bespoke services that can best serve their most critical requirements. This is where the local MSPs come in. They provide hybrid integration with the big boys while bringing their niche expertise and local focus to bear on what matters most for the client.

Do you do a weekly shop and plan your evening meals a week in advance or do you prefer the convenience and freedom of deciding what you’d like for dinner each night?

Maybe you need to visit your local MSP and start enjoying the bespoke services that it can offer. If you don’t have a local MSP then please contact Veber and we’d be happy to help, contactus@veber.co.uk.