"The data center transformation journey usually starts with consolidation and standardization," Herrera said, "then moves toward increasing the virtualization footprint, establishing private clouds with self-service and charge-back mechanisms, and connecting on-premises environments to public clouds and creating hybrid operating models."Hybrid cloud is the norm for most service providers, the report noted, with some believing the public cloud component of the hybrid mix will experience rapid growth in the next few years and surpass on-premises environments in workloads processed. Automation is a key theme for all data center service providers, the report said. Using either tools developed in house or integrating best-of-breed, third-party technologies, providers are looking to automate event correlation to reduce incidents, while adopting higher-end capabilities such as machine learning and self-healing systems. Forward-looking providers are investing in software-defined capabilities that allow software to completely control infrastructure environments and deliver superior agility to support DevOps. The ISG report said the data center services market is likely to experience consolidation, especially in the mid-tier segment. These smaller providers, having made a late entry into this market—and missing out on the 20-25 percent growth rates their larger rivals enjoyed in recent years—lack the scale to compete for large deals. Instead, they are differentiating themselves with service, flexibility and customization, industry focus and broader partner ecosystems. The ISG Provider Lens™ Data Center Outsourcing Archetype Report analyzes providers serving the U.S. market by each of four buyer archetypes:
- Traditional: These enterprises have limited outsourcing experience and only outsource a fraction of their data center operations, typically for staff augmentation and cost savings.
- Managed Services: This buyer is ready to move from small outsourcing relationships to a moderate level of hybrid cloud adoption and embrace multi-sourcing arrangements.
- Large Scale Transformation: These buyers are third-generation outsourcers and view providers as strategic partners. They offer as-a-service, utility-based models to their business units, seek greater use of private cloud and wish to automate infrastructure management.
- Pioneering: These enterprises look to extend their transformation initiatives with software-defined networking and storage, optimize their hybrid cloud environments, strive to improve developer productivity and prefer a DevOps approach to managing their infrastructure.