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Top 3 Predictions for Cloud Applications in 2022

SaaS will see new vendors, bigger workloads and more customization

Consistent growth masks considerable change in SaaS during 2022

The expectations for what cloud can offer customers have shifted, and in no market is that more clear than with cloud applications and SaaS. The financial benefits of cloud, both the lower overall cost and the shift to an operating expense pricing model, were the early attractions as customers moved low-risk applications to the cloud. Now that more mission-critical enterprise applications are being moved, cost is still a consideration for major SaaS purchases, but it is no longer the sole driving factor influencing adoption decisions. The constant stream of innovation, more frequent updates, and ability to align cloud to changing business requirements have taken over as the most attractive elements of SaaS solutions.

That high-level value proposition will persist into 2022, making SaaS the largest cloud market in terms of revenue and one that will continue to grow in the double digits year-to-year. It may sound like the same old story, but a shifting set of trends will drive this growth. First, while large providers like SAP, Oracle and Microsoft remain the mainstays of the market, born-in-the-cloud providers have matured greatly over the past few years, best highlighted by Salesforce whose front-office SaaS portfolio aligned well with the adoption patterns of the enterprise, setting the vendor on a course to eclipse SAP as the largest enterprise application provider in terms of revenue by the end of 2021.

The success of Salesforce and other cloud pure plays like Workday has been recognized by a growing ecosystem of nontraditional ISVs that are entering the market to capitalize on the opportunity. Systems integrators, small managed services partners, and cloud platform providers will all package solutions that are sold as SaaS to end customers. Second, the larger, mission-critical services in the ERP category of workloads will see increased adoption. That shift carries significant dollar investments not only in the SaaS offerings being purchased but also in the associated services and technologies that support those environments. Third, the need for customization based on the business process, existing technology, and vertical industry increases the value of broad ecosystems that extend the core SaaS offerings.

This dynamic is supported by TBR’s 1H21 Cloud Applications Customer Research, which found that the value of ISV ecosystems was not just in filling gaps in vendors’ portfolios but also, more critically, in increasing the stickiness of vendors’ offerings within clients’ environments. This dynamic will result in PaaS capabilities becoming a key differentiator for vendors in the overall public cloud market. So while growth will continue in SaaS, it will mask big changes occurring in the market during the coming year.

2022 Cloud Applications Predictions

  • The SaaS opportunity attracts all kinds of new participants
  • Cloud delivery for mission-critical applications inches closer to mainstream
  • Customization becomes the standard for cloud applications

Learn more in our webinar 2022 Predictions: Cloud

Send me a free copy of TBR’s Top 3 Predictions for Cloud Applications in 2022

Telecom Business Research’s 2022 Predictions is a special series examining market trends and business changes in key markets. Covered segments include cloud, telecom, devices, data center, and services & digital.

2019 Services Predictions: Fix my business problem with a solution, not a slide — IT services and consulting for human-centric digital transformation

Trust in turbulent times: data access and management as the key to IT services and consulting success in an uncertain 2019

From London to San Francisco, macroeconomic shifts and unsettled political environments in both the U.K. and the U.S. will make the start of 2019 turbulent and likely troubled for many companies, including the IT services vendors and consultancies we cover within TBR’s Professional Services practice. These companies will face harder decisions around repositioning their investments to other geographies or finding more cost-conscious investments in new areas. We are expecting a slowdown in both countries — not necessarily in revenues, but in fresh ideas and creativity, service launches, and expansion in additional markets within both economies — driven by new uncertainty and well-founded caution. The U.S. has traditionally been the largest market for IT services vendors, and no single year will change that hard, economic fact. But where we have seen IT services vendors experiment with new consulting business models that blend emerging technologies into strategy consulting and embed codeveloped IP into outcomes-based IT services engagements, we expect a retrenchment as 2019 opens, with uncertainty lingering at least through the summer. By this time next year, we expect to see more initiatives in APAC leveraging that region’s faster adoption of 5G (and all that means for digital transformation at speed and scale). And we expect the three trends described below will be demonstrably evident in the strategies and performances of the leading IT services vendors and consultancies we cover.

Underlying all of our assessments, we are developing a new appreciation for the criticality of data. Beyond the cliché that every company is a data company or that data is the new oil, we have been seeing throughout 2018 the way IT services vendors and consultancies have begun investing increasingly in data management, cleansing and protection, all with the assumption that analytics, automation, artificial intelligence and every other emerging technology starts with and relies on clean and useful data. Smarter business decisions do not come from bad data, no matter how good the algorithm or analytics package. For 2019, this means data access becomes an opportunity to extend to all IT services, up to and including digital transformation, the same trust that comes with an audit or a multiyear outsourcing engagement. Imagine a consultancy working with unfettered access to every data element across a client’s enterprise. Getting there may take a changed regulatory environment and will definitely require that boards be willing to extend trust in new ways, a human limitation that may slow this new data access. But we see it coming. If politics and economics could cause stormy weather in the U.S. and U.K., the acceleration of digital transformation through data access may be the longer-term trend, the global warming lifting all boats on rising sea levels.

2019 Telecom Predictions: 5G will be an evolution, not a revolution

The first few years of the 5G era will be underwhelming, but the future looks brighter for the telecom industry, especially as Industry 4.0 gains steam

The telecom industry entered a brave new world with the inception of 5G in 2018. Stakeholders industrywide are hoping this newest network generation will provide much needed revenue growth after the prior network generation, 4G, fell short of this goal over the past decade. Stakeholders hope 5G enables Industry 4.0, which will spur revenue generation opportunities for service providers that provide the connectivity layer and value-added services to businesses.

Though TBR agrees Industry 4.0 will ultimately take hold, our research suggests the cycle will start later and take longer to play out than many expect. TBR expects 5G to drive a renaissance in new commercially viable use cases for the network between 2022 and 2025, which will be beneficial in the long run but makes the next few years a continuation of the same challenges the industry has been dealing with, namely a lack of growth prospects and additional margin pressure.

In the interim, communication service providers (CSPs) will focus on cost optimization and will allocate their initial 5G investments to enhancing their traditional connectivity businesses to more cost-effectively support the ever-increasing amount of data traffic coming onto their networks. This cost optimization mindset, coupled with digital transformation ambitions, will lead to an acceleration in spend on NFV/SDN-related initiatives as well as 5G access build-outs, particularly in lead countries.

2019 Predictions

  • CSPs justify initial 5G investments for their cost efficiency attributes
  • CSPs accelerate network transformation endeavors
  • Wireless begins to disrupt the traditional fixed access business model

Register for TBR’s webinar 5G will be an evolution, not a revolution, Feb. 13, 2019.