By Joshua Geist, CEO Geminare
In June 2010 I posted a blog article entitled “The Birth of RaaS,” in which I talked about Recovery as a Service (at that time a new “as a service” delivery model) gaining market momentum with the arrival of the broader Cloud infrastructure market. Today, as the RaaS landscape is surveyed, its exciting to see that in four short years, RaaS has grown up quite dramatically, to the point where it’s now a mainstream offering that virtually every provider of BC/DR services needs to embrace, or risk being left behind.
Back then—in 2010—BC/DR solutions were typically provided under a proprietary “build-it” model that included expensive software, hardware, data centers and ongoing professional services. The industry was dominated by a select group of vendors who effectively owned the market. Customers who required BC/DR had few options, and regardless of which among the limited providers they selected as their vendor, one thing was certain: they would be locked into a long-term, ironclad agreement, and would be saddled with massive expenses for the BC/DR services provided.
RaaS changed that world and changed it forever.
Back then, RaaS was a blip on the radar screen for the media and technology community. Not anymore. Today we find that RaaS has gone from relative obscurity in the BC/DR world to earning its very own Gartner Magic Quadrant. (See: http://blogs.gartner.com/business-continuity/
That’s impressive, but not surprising when one considers what has happened since the beginning of RaaS. Technologies, service providers and most importantly customer expectations have all evolved. Look at Gartner’s November 2013 Critical Capabilities Assessment on the RaaS Market report that identifies over 150 RaaS providers globally, and proceeds to rank a relatively newcomer to RaaS, NTT Communications, as the #1 RaaS Product offering on the planet; NTT Communications was ranked higher than traditional providers like IBM and SunGard. The impact that NTT Communications and the other 150+ RaaS providers are having at the expense of traditional providers in market is both real and substantial, as can be seen in the multitude of recent investments, earnings reports, and product launches including our newest global partnership with HP. With multiple and widely available RaaS solutions that are at the same time more economical and feature-rich, the RaaS market is exploding. TechNavio, for example, projects the global market reaching $5.7B by 2018, reflecting a CAGR of 54.64%.
But the Gartner Magic Quadrant (MQ Report) is still the industry’s litmus test—the gold standard of technology and service offerings by which market leaders, challengers, visionaries and niche players are evaluated and highlighted. This comprehensive and structured report, published annually, validates the maturation of an offering that is here to stay. By focusing exclusively on RaaS for the first time, the upcoming 2014 Gartner report will be sending a message to service providers that RaaS is fast becoming the de facto standard in the world of BC/DR. Those who are still sitting on the fence about whether or not to introduce a RaaS offering need to step up, even at the risk of cannibalizing their embedded legacy BC/DR customer base. Failure to do so will undoubtedly leave them lagging behind a rapidly changing industry, and will eventually cost them millions of dollars as their customers embrace the benefits of RaaS elsewhere and establish relationships with new competitors that were not even on their radar screen a year or two ago.