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You need a cloud exit plan, even for AWS, Google, Microsoft, or IBM

The cloud computing infrastructure market—IaaS, PaaS, and private hosting—continues to consolidate around the four major providers, as they maintain or even grow market share at the expense of smaller providers.

AWS has continued to grow its revenues more rapidly than the overall market. In other words, AWS is the one to beat, and it will likely remain so for sometime. According to Synergy Research Group’s Q2 2017 data, AWS now has 34 percent of the cloud infrastructure market share, followed by Microsoft at 11 percent, IBM at 8 percent, and Google at 5 percent.

This latest data underscores a long-term trend of consolidation, and that’s something enterprises need a strategy for.

synergy q2 cloud infrastructure market trendsSynergy Research Group

If you have picked a weak cloud provider, meaning one that has not established a sustainable market share, you could find your cloud services turned off in a few years. We already saw this happen a few years ago as several smaller IaaS providers left the market a few years ago. And it will happen again.

As a result, you could find that that the public cloud services you’ve depended on for years might be shut down without much notice. AWS, Google, IBM, and Microsoft are all well funded companies, so they are not likely to drop public cloud services right away if the going gets rough. But there are no guarantees. Google, for example, could one day decide that its relatively small market share isn’t worth continued investment.

So, how do you protect yourself? Watching the market is one way to do it, but it’s impossible to predict the technology market with any degree of certainty.

A better way is to have an exit plan, including which provider to go to, how to migrate your data and applications, what the costs will be, and what the impact will be on your business. Business continuity planning was long a staple of IT management; it needs to be one for cloud management as well.

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