When it comes to Enterprise Cloud Computing trends, Hybrid Cloud increasingly appears to be the inevitable destination for most future IT business and technical topologies.
In spite of the inexorable march toward Public Cloud, IaaS, and multi-tenant SaaS, two things are widely accepted:
  1. Many enterprise workloads will remain either within the data center or operating as a single-tenant instance in a private cloud (managed in-house or outsourced).
  2. Most enterprises will deploy multiple clouds running on multiple providers across public and private IaaS, SaaS, PaaS, etc.
This leaves most IT vendors and most of the channel that they work with at a critical inflection point.  Offerings MUST now incorporate three key stages which build on each other:
Hybrid-Cloud-Pivot
Based on what we’re seeing in the marketplace, few vendors (or the channel partners who work with them) are thinking beyond Stage 1 above.  The gravitational pull of the past with its perpetual license, services, and maintenance streams are still too strong.  And even though nearly half of all channel partners now self-label as “Cloud Providers”, their revenues and margins are still mostly tied to #1 above.  Few have future proofed their business models by developing solutions aligned to Stages #2 or #3.
There are certainly exceptions, as some forward looking partners and vendors have moved to a primary if not strategic focus on hybrid, but more interesting are the new channel entrants who have come at the business squarely focused on #2, positioning themselves as the service providers to Rogue IT customers vs the traditional “Locked in with IT” model that defined the past.  Forward looking vendors are aligning to both the new entrants (digital natives) and the evolving traditional services providers (digital immigrants).
If you aren’t pushing hard to insure that the mainstream of your GTM and RTM priorities are squarely hybrid cloud focused, you WILL be left behind.  In our view, the writing on the wall is clear:  Partners and increasingly vendors must make the leap to a true embrace of Hybrid Cloud Management.