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Beyond the Hyperscalers: Questions About Alternative Cloud Providers, Answered

Beyond the Hyperscalers: Questions About Alternative Cloud Providers, Answered

As alternatives to the hyperscale cloud players continue to gain traction, what do developers need to know about the providers that make up this market segment?

This question was the focus of the webinar, ”A Look Beyond the Big 3: The Role and Importance of Alternative Providers,” hosted by SK Ventures General Partner Eric Norlin, featuring Liam Eagle, research director at 451 Research, and Dr. KellyAnn Fitzpatrick, research analyst at developer-focused firm Redmonk. The panelists discussed everything from must-have capabilities to how developers can benefit from the alternative cloud and frequently asked questions surrounding alternative clouds. 

We’ve rounded up the top questions from the webinar, which you can watch below.

If we’re just now starting to talk about the category of alternative cloud providers, is this only the beginning? Is a monstrous wave of alternative cloud adoption on the horizon? 

Eagle: The simplicity, ease of use, and cost-effectiveness of alternative clouds are going to be a huge value proposition. There’s going to be a lot more appetite for these offerings and huge opportunities for alternative clouds to help SMBs do more things, grow, and have success. Businesses that have only been able to use SaaS to consume software or who have never thought about being able to collect data for business purposes can now consider these options thanks to alternative clouds. 

What do organizations need to know more about when considering a credible alternative to hyperscalers? 

Eagle: There are many use cases for which hyperscalers are awesome tools. With that said, there is a growing appetite for options that include the alternative cloud, or at least a combination of hyperscale and alternative clouds. If I’m a developer and want to sandbox something quickly, it’s very beneficial for an organization to have an alternative cloud. 

It’s a running joke that developers are commitment-phobes, and portability is top-of-mind for them. How does this impact the relationship between IT and developers when it comes to choosing infrastructure? What role will alternative clouds play in this conversation? 

Eagle: Whether or not IT teams want developers actually to make the infrastructure decisions at the company, they understand that the developer is the consumer. They need to make decisions based on what will be useful for the developers [and alternative clouds are useful].

Fitzpatrick: When it comes to developer-led adoption, developers should not be making all the purchasing decisions. Because developers want to expedite processes, they don’t want to worry about security or testing. They are notorious for saying, ‘OK, this works, let’s ship it.’ 

So, there need to be certain levels of governance and policy, so developers have a say, but also guardrails for the organization. That balance is an important ingredient to developer productivity, and alternative cloud’s simplicity and compliance elements can play a big role. 

What is the immediate impact and future of alternative clouds? 

Eagle: The pandemic is acting as a catalyst for accelerating cloud adoption for businesses. The bar for what is a good product will continue to evolve at a faster pace. New features come out all the time and move the bar for what qualifies as a credible alternative. 

How does the alternative cloud space evolve for the developer over the next 12-18 months? 

Fitzpatrick: It depends on what the credible alternative cloud providers can offer to developers. The market for cloud is growing, and so is the number of developers, and we need it to grow even faster. The more attention that alternative cloud providers pay to what developers need, the better position they will find themselves in during the next year and a half.




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