While much has been written about the customer shift to a cloud delivery model and the emergence of industry-specific clouds, it is also important to focus on the three trends that are driving the current state of the market:
- Customers consistently rank discrete cloud professional services, which helps to create a more efficient business by lowering costs.
- Customer acceptance of the hybrid cloud approach for IT operations is increasing.
- Establishing an appropriate high-quality team has become a crucial factor for a successful cloud professional services project.
In IDC's 2018 survey of enterprises implementing digital transformation, over 52% indicated a hybrid cloud approach was their dominant delivery model, compared with just over 14% in 2015. Service providers are responding to this trend by creating increasingly sophisticated delivery models that integrate or arrange multiple cloud services for their customers. For example, Huawei provided an e-commerce client with a hybrid cloud solution that supports improved flexibility. During idle periods, the applications run on Huawei's private cloud. However, during peak periods, the customer can apply for resources from Huawei's public cloud, providing the ability to cope with the surging service demand. Huawei's hybrid cloud approach can incorporate other public cloud services too, if required by the customer.
The cloud ecosystem is becoming increasingly complex. There are more members and types of players. As a result customers are looking for professional service providers who can help manage that complexity. How can new players in the cloud ecosystem benefit customers? Beyond using standard application programming interfaces (APIs) for cloud service interconnectivity, service providers are using their innovation/research and development (R&D) capabilities, venture capital business units, or both to expand their options for sensing and responding to customers.
Leading service providers have created cloud platforms that integrate multiple cloud services that simplify implementation and ongoing operations, although the components of these platforms vary according to each provider's strategy. Platforms can better arrange multiple cloud services through standardization and creation of meta-data about the operations of the cloud services. The meta-data can be used to manage consumption of the cloud services, and to plan for the implementation of subsequent improvements. Interestingly, the planning, designing, building, and deployment of cloud services also clarifies the way of cloud service operations. New service requirements, technical updates to cloud services, or revision of external regulations will lead to changes in cloud service deployment. Service providers should operate cloud services on behalf of customers to gain better insights into these subsequent deployment changes. The following figure illustrates Huawei's cloud enablement service architecture, which covers the end-to-end lifecycle of services related to implementation and operations.
Challenges and Opportunities
In order to help even more types of customers to fully realize business value through industry cloud deployment, Huawei must develop beyond the telecommunications industry and continue to seek knowledge from other industries, either directly, through projects, or via strategic partners. Huawei is doing this to expand its experience in government, public safety, finance, and high-tech manufacturing industries. By the end of December 2017, Huawei has had over 2,900 global Certified Service Partners (CSPs), including 3 with multi-national service capabilities, 34 with solution service capabilities. More than 129 CSPs have been rated as 5-star. All of the solution service partners and 5-star CSPs have the capability to implement multi-cloud solutions.
End-to-end services for cloud solutions will grow in importance to meet the need for implementing cloud applications and infrastructure, cloud migration, and cloud operations. There will also be steady demand for service providers with industry knowledge, industry-specific cloud offerings, and a breadth of technology services from consulting to management. Since Huawei meets all the preceding requirements, it is positioned to achieve great success, as long as it can help customers address the challenges described in this white paper.