Cloud providers have been focusing mainly on the small businesses and large organizations while neglecting the midsized companies. This has happened due to the presence of massive number of small companies that present huge opportunities for retail based cloud services and the cash rich big organizations that have been targeted by cloud industry.

Lucrative market segments

Cloud landscape has been influenced by upper and lower market segments. It is easy to understand the reasons because large enterprises are having all resources including finance and manpower to either adopt cloud services or experiment with the cloud based solutions. These organizations have received tremendous support from cloud providers in terms of special teams and exclusive services that are custom designed to attract large businesses. 

In small business segment, cloud service providers have complemented aggressive approach of small enterprises towards adopting cloud capabilities by providing plug and play services to fulfill their fundamental requirements. Cloud service providers have preferred to focus on this lower segment to exploit this large segment comprising of a multitude of enterprises.  

Middle market enterprises represent neglected market segment of the cloud industry. This is primarily because cloud providers have found lucrative opportunities in the small and large business segments that are easy to exploit, thereby ignoring the mid-market companies.

In spite of this, there are clear indications about a large chunk of mid-sized organizations planning to embrace cloud in a big way in the next six months to twelve months. 

Cloud adoption by mid-sized enterprises- Key obstacles 

The road to cloud adoption by mid segment companies is full of obstacles because unlike small segment companies, there cannot be a one-size-fits-all solutions for enterprises from this segment. Number of distinctive factors are responsible for driving cloud adoption in mid segment companies than their small and large segment counterparts. Multiplicity of objectives for adoption of cloud computing is a challenge by itself. In large companies the decision for cloud adoption is essentially influenced by need to gain flexibility as far as new product development and delivery is concerned. On the other hand, smaller companies focus on replacement of IT expenditure by adopting affordable services offered by cloud providers. 

Mid market enterprises are more concerned about mitigation of complexities than achieving cost efficiency in business processes. The major concerns of mid market companies are limited budgets for IT and smaller IT staff that calls for cloud based solutions to streamline complex IT infrastructure. Mid segment companies expect cloud computing to facilitate their IT teams to efficiently manage IT infrastructure with limited financial and manpower resources. 

Cloud migration in midsized organization is backed by intensive planning and projection to implement future plans by understanding scope of cloud computing as far as various business processes is concerned. These enterprises consider cloud migration as an opportunity to redesign their legacy infrastructure that may turn out to be obsolete in near future. Traditional IT infrastructure is usually inflexible and not geared up to accommodate evolving technologies and hence it needs to be upgraded or discarded. 

Small companies are comfortable with pre-packaged and basic cloud solutions, which can be operated with help of fundamental technical assistance. In case of large organizations there is enough in-house technical talent to look after the overall cloud adoption and related issues. These organizations are also backed by teams of consultants to help them plan their strategies and may not seek or require help of cloud providers. These large sized organizations can also afford dedicated teams of technical consultants to look after their cloud adoption and cloud strategy implementation. On the contrary, mid segment companies need full-fledged strategic support by cloud providers that should strengthen in-house technical talent. The mid-sized segment presents a huge opportunity for cloud hosting providers who are ready to offer such support to address complexities of cloud adoption in this hitherto untapped segment. 

Cloud adoption strategy for mid segment 

Strategic planning initiative for mid segment enterprises should be executed in consultation with cloud provider by understanding the type of cloud required to be adopted. Majority of enterprises in mid segment are exposed to public cloud services since large number of projects are executed in public cloud. Whenever these enterprises are ready to go for large scale cloud adoption, it is found that these are prepared for private or hybrid cloud adoption due to limited or almost negligible exposure to these types of cloud. 

Cloud providers need to educate these companies regarding use of hybrid and private cloud services. It is observed that a combined approach that blends private and public services is highly relevant in mid sized organizations since it can effectively fulfill performance and security needs of these companies. 
An individual approach must be adopted while designing hybrid cloud solutions for mid market enterprises because individual organizations’ needs drastically differ from each other. The most ideal hybrid cloud strategy not only address current and near future requirements of the enterprise but also give a deep thought to accommodate company’s long term growth strategies. 


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