Vendors in the Canadian infrastructure as a service (IaaS) market have a 50 per cent compound annual growth rate to look forward to over the next four years towards a total value of $250 million by 2016, according to IDC Canada.

Also known as cloud computing, IaaS will be taking away from traditional modes of IT outsourcing by 2015, IDC says in a new report, IDC MarketScape 2013. ┬áThe report sets out to assess 12 vendors offering IaaS across almost 100 different criteria. Overall, it’s a snapshot of vendor’s current capabilities, sales strategies, and the buyer’s opinion on market leadership. The approach was from a mid-sized to large-sized business perspective, IDC says.

The vendors rated are (in alphabetical order):

  • AWS
  • Bell
  • BlackIron
  • CSC
  • Cogeco
  • HP
  • IBM
  • Microsoft
  • OnX
  • RackForce
  • Savvis
  • Telus

The list highlights how telecommunications firms are getting involved in the IT services space. In the face of declining usage of traditional communications infrastructure like landlines, firms like Bell and Telus are pivoting their offerings to be more service oriented and IP-enabled. That is giving traditional IT service firms such as HP and Microsoft competition from a new angle. Plus, those firms have the advantage of packing together new service offerings with their  communications products.

IDC’s report looks at several aspects of IaaS considered important by buyers. Perhaps the most surprising finding is that although 60 per cent of buyers still say they prefer to have IaaS delivered from within Canadian borders, that in-Canada delivery ranked low on a list of priorities when selecting a vendor. For years, a major hurdle for cloud vendors in Canada has been the issues around the Patriot Act. Whether by perception or reality, it has stifled movement to the cloud somewhat. Canadian businesses don’t like the concept that the American government could snoop on their data at will and without even informing them. Considering the recent ┬áNational Security Agency’s Prism program being brought to light, perhaps those fears will be brought back to top of mind.

Being able to scale computing power and storage capacity quickly was important for IaaS buyers too, IDC says. IaaS vendors could better match customer needs by offering on-demand, self-serve access.

In the years ahead, there’s lots of room for a clear leader to emerge from the vendor pack in this space.


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