Strategic Shifts in IaaS, PaaS and SaaS to Advance Early Stage Cloud Adoption In Asia: IDC

idcSingapore and Hong Kong, December 9, 2013 – In 2014, IDC predicts that major strategic shifts in the cloud services space in each of the three major layers of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) will begin to reshape the early stage of cloud adoption in Asia .

These shifts will pit key cloud suppliers against each other and will likely lead – when the dust settles – to a new leadership structure within the IT industry.

Escalation sets the stage for consolidation among IaaS players

IDC predicts that Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, HP and others will dramatically escalate their cloud data center deployments in 2014. Amazon will continue to expand its very large footprint, particularly where it has gaps in Asia Pacific.

“IDC envisions a near doubling of cloud data centers from several of Amazon’s newly-energized traditional IT competitors. Why this escalation of cloud infrastructure deployments?  Because cloud is a scale game and players without massive scale will be uncompetitive,” explains Chris Morris, Associate VP, Services Asia Pacific and Lead Analyst, Cloud Services & Technologies, IDC Australia.

IDC foresees that by 2017 there will be fewer than eight major global players in IaaS, perhaps fewer, based on which companies are willing to invest massive capital into a global cloud delivery capability.  And these players will come from among the three big “integrated stack” providers (Amazon Web Services, Google and Microsoft) plus a small number of major players around two or three of the open ecosystem platforms – which include OpenStack, VMware and CloudStack (each vying to become “the Android of the cloud platforms”).

“Asia is entering a ‘put up or shut up’ time, as some players dramatically escalate their investments to scale up their capacity and global presence, while others hesitate and ultimately scale back.”

Morris warns of an important caveat: If the “NSA/Snowden effect” leads to country and regional governments legislating/regulating in favor of local cloud providers, and effectively against the global players cloud offerings, Asia could also see the proliferation of regional players who cater to region-specific requirements.

A new stage of IaaS differentiation

In contrast with the “one size fits all” image of cloud compute and storage services, IDC anticipates that there will be a dizzying increase in the variety of workload-specialized cloud infrastructure services – rivaling, and quickly surpassing –what is available from the server and storage OEM community.

“IDC has already seen the beginnings of this from Amazon Web Services, RackSpace and SoftLayer/IBM. Over the next 12-24 months, we’ll see this new form of ‘specialized infrastructure’ differentiation ratchet way up.”

Morris believes this will be a total inversion of what most people assume about the cloud: It is not where your hardware options will be constrained, it is where you will have the widest range of options.

IaaS without PaaS capabilities becomes a dying breed

In 2014, it will become even clearer that value is migrating from pure IaaS toward IaaS with PaaS capabilities.

“IaaS providers with no PaaS services (and no ecosystem of developers and solutions) will go the way of the Dodo bird”

A pitched battle for developers (and apps) in the cloud

In 2014 and 2015, IDC expects to see a battle for developers play out in the cloud, much like the one between Android, iOS and Windows for mobile apps and developers.

“Amazon, Microsoft,, Google, IBM, Oracle, SAP, EMC/VMware/Pivotal, HP and others know that new cloud apps will fuel the industry’s growth, and these platform players want developers to host their innovative new apps and solutions on their PaaS/marketplace,” says Morris.

In 2014, there will be greater urgency in this battle for developers: IDC predicts that by 2017, at least 80% of new cloud solutions (and developers) will be hosted on (and aligned with) the top six of these competing platforms.

“Look out for a few major rollouts in the PaaS/Apps Marketplace in 2014, including IBM’s rollout of a new cloud app platform (code-named Blue Mix) aimed at the commercial app/solution developer community.”

A 10-fold explosion of new cloud (SaaS) “apps”

New apps – and the data generated by, and associated with, those apps – will fuel the growth of the 3rd Platform for the next decade and beyond. IDC predicts that over the next four years, there will be a ten-fold growth in the number of “apps” in the cloud, driven by a tripling of the number of “developers”/contributors to cloud app ecosystems. And two thirds of these new apps will have an industry-specific or role-specific focus (see “Innovative Industry Solutions” predictions [#10]).

About IDC’s Predictions

IDC’s annual Predictions in APEJ draws upon the latest IDC research and a worldwide brainstorming exercise among IDC’s 1000+ analysts. This was followed by an extensive regional review to weigh in on key industry events, user trends, vendor strategies and economic measures that promises to uniquely define the technology trends that would impact and drive the market in APEJ for 2014. Across the globe, following the release of IDC’s global top ten predictions, IDC’s geographic, technology and industry teams will be releasing their own specific predictions in the coming months.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. For more than 48 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting