Before you hunker down to watch the ball drop with noisemakers (man, those things are annoying) and a bottle of bubbly this New Years Eve, consider that 90% of organizations surveyed in the 2015 State of the Cloud Survey by RightScale are running applications or experimenting with infrastructure-as-a-service. Clearly, cloud computing adoption is on the rise, but what's in store for 2016 and what can MSPs do about it?

Louis Armstrong reminds us of the cloud every year when he croons "I see trees of green, and clouds of white," but we wanted to dive deeper into the cloud discussion. We asked a slew of IT experts what they expected and compiled their answers here!

1. Directory Services & Backup Services Will Blend SaaS, IaaS and On-Premises Computing

"Most SMB channel partners began their cloud journeys with SaaS services like Office 365. The best MSPs will now help customers to move workloads to IaaS platforms like Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and IBM SoftLayer. Partners will leverage APIs and umbrella dashboards to manage workloads across SaaS, IaaS and on-premises servers. Active Directory — now available across both AWS and Azure — will also play a key role in the way MSPs blend SaaS, IaaS and on-premises workloads. At the same time, MSPs will plug into multiple public clouds for customer backups, essentially creating ad-hoc grids across AWS, IBM and Azure to further protect data." - Joe Panettieri, Content Czar, ChannelE2E

2. We May Reach the End of the Cloud Adoption Curve


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"This was a big year for the “cloud” as many earlier adopters were now proving out the value and the opportunity it represents providing examples of success. Being an exclusive, cloud based product we, along with our partners, have known first-hand the value which was again validated this year. Both the Gartner hype cycle and Moors theory of adoption curves will continue to play out.

The question is and will be; in 2016 does the “cloud” achieve and concur the late majority and or laggards portion of the market?" - Dan Wensley, President, Passportal

3. More MSPs Will Have a Business Continuity Strategy Anchored in Public Clouds 

"Next year we will continue to see existing vendors and a breed of new vendors (both service providers and software companies) leverage the public cloud. These vendors may be "born in the cloud" or provide "hybrid public cloud solutions" as they focus on delivering solutions for specific customer use cases. One specific use case is using the public cloud as a true disaster recovery site to automatically protect, failover and fail-back critical servers instead of maintaining one's own hardened site which is very expensive. We will see those who are willing to take advantage of the public cloud recognize a significant cost savings, be able to reduce internal resources and benefit from operational efficiencies in the years to come.  Furthermore, the SMB will be able to improve their own infrastructure and take advantage of solutions that were once out of reach due to higher costs of implementing certain technologies.” - Zak Karsan, Sales Director, OneCloud Software

4. Moving to the Cloud is Only the Beginning 

“For 2016, cloud will become the first option when building new IT architecture. This means that companies will start by considering public cloud, then will move to private cloud, hosted systems, or on-premise systems if needs dictate. Ultimately, the infrastructure will be a diverse mix, and monitoring/management will become a top challenge.” - Seth Robinson, Sr. Director, Technology Analysis, CompTIA


See full infographic here!

5. The Cloud Will Offer Additional Managed Services Revenue 

“Security products typically geared for the Enterprise, from log analysis to active breach notification, will be cloud enabled and repackaged at a price point suitable for the SMB customer. This will fuel additional managed services revenue and will push security as the next big services opportunity.” - Jerry Koutavas, President, The ASCII Group, Inc.

6. Big Data Solutions and the SMB Channel Will Converge

"I think 2016 is going to herald in a shift in the way traditional cloud vendors think about delivering value, especially via their channel partners. Hosted email, Cloud based backup, and RMM solutions are commonplace, and many vendors are realizing that being able to leverage those solutions to drive competitive advantage is the path to differentiation in the future. Big Data solutions are going to meet the SMB channel, and the resultant wave of productivity is going to drive significant growth and excitement for the next 10 years, starting in 2016." - Ted Roller, Virtual Channel Chief, Get Channeled