I’m continuing the REPAMA Segment Analysis Study into the Cloud Computing market attempting to arrive at a solid market segmentation and two things have become very clear.
Firstly, every vendor with a remotely related proposition appears to have added the word “cloud” to their product name, presumably in an attempt to bask in the reflected glory that cloud computing provides, perhaps in an effort to appease their investors. This means that there are a large number of vendors claiming to be part of specific segments that may or may not have legitimate claims. This makes the process I’m going through confusing and messy. And if I, as a marketing analyst am having problems, I wonder what sort of success a legitimate prospect would have in finding the product/service they need.
Secondly, the market is still in flux and as such nailing a clear segmentation down is, for some time, going to be like herding cats. This is a classic early market symptom where the market is currently led by vendors’ own ideas about what is needed and what is possible. Once the market starts to form properly and vendors align behind what their prospects and customers are actually buying, then the segmentation will become clearer.
But I have to start somewhere and the good news is that I’ve been corresponding with both Peter Laird of Tendril Inc. and Brad Buck of OpenCrowd and they both have given their blessing to this project and have offered to help if they can. Most importantly they are both happy for me to use their work on a cloud computing taxonomy/model, here and here, as a starting point for my cloud market segmentation.
One thing that I quickly realised was needed for my purposes was some form of professional services (human skills) offer. Plenty of large consultancies, smaller integrators and boutique IT shops offer consultancy services around cloud computing. Both Peter and Brad have rightly focussed on the categorisation of product capability and customer need in fleshing our “their” taxonomy. But to fully understand what propositions are being put together to service the cloud computing “need”, I must include cloud computing professional services.
So far I’ve identified the following list of services under the category of professional services. I suspect that it will grow some and be rationalised some before I finish.
- Strategy, planning and design
- Migration and implementation services
- Cloud application design/porting
- Support services and training
I suspect that cloud application design/porting will be a relatively niche category for a while and that testing, security and support services may all become amalgamated as I carry on my research.
Another major category of cloud computing offer that has also presented itself is that of “Channel”. A number of organisations are white labelling, OEM’ing, reselling or otherwise fronting cloud vendors/service providers’ offerings. One concern that I have is that this sort of partnering is very common in hot early markets where one vendor with no cloud proposition hastily signs a partner agreement to simply tick a box. It does’t mean that either company will do any real business. I’ll do some digging and and if it looks like a real enough category I’ll add it and blog on it soon.