Cloud computing is gaining momentum, and telecom operators are battling for cloud computing customers. Carriers face fierce competition in this emerging market and many have to solve several issues before becoming strong competitors.

Almost all data center and infrastructure providers have included some kind of cloud service offering in their portfolio, and they have entered this field with the intention of gaining a significant share of the market.

Anderson B. Figueiredo, IDC research and consulting manager, said that large data center providers have made major investments to build their cloud strategy and portfolio. Together, the main vendors have spent $17 billion is acquisitions over the past 20 months, an amount IDC forecasts will reach $25 billion over the next 20 months.

Recently, Oracle announced the acquisition of Nimbula for hybrid cloud software. The transaction, the terms of which were not disclosed, is expected to close in the first half of 2013.

For the telecom operators, Figueiredo said that while they know better how to charge per use, which they have done ever since starting business, telecom operators are not good at providing IT. “They don’t know how to talk about IT business alignment,” he said during a meeting with journalists in São Paulo, Brazil.

In addition, carriers in several countries have to overcome an association with poor quality because of problems with telephony and data services.

Regardless, observers say that without a doubt telecom operators are shaking up the cloud computing market. Their presence in the maret will gain importance as cloud computing becomes more mature and ubiquitous, and as mobile cloud emerges as the next trend, impacting not only enterprise IT management but also the wireless world. It can present real opportunities for carriers, as well as challenges.

“Telecoms are changing the dynamic of the cloud services vendor market, and when they step into this market once and for all, they will bother other vendors,” Figueiredo said.

According to Gartner, the public cloud services market is expected to grow 18% in 2013 reaching $131 billion globally. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), including cloud computing, storage and print services, continued to be the fastest-growing segment of the market, increasing 42.4% in 2012 to $6.1 billion. It is expected to grow 47.3% in 2013 to $9 billion.

Posted on 15 March 2013 by Roberta Prescott.