Which Niche Is Right for You?

Article Takeaway

  • The cloud services market is predicted to grow more than 17 percent in 2019

  • Differentiated services can help smaller CSPs to stand out from the competition and build their businesses

  • Focusing on a specific region, customer base or optimizing for particular workloads can deliver a compelling offering to clients

  • By building out an infrastructure to support their chosen niche, CSPs can find their own route to success



With a global population of 7.7 million1 and an estimated 180 million companies around the world2 all seeking internet access and cloud services – it would seem that the opportunities for cloud service providers (CSPs) to find new customers would be endless. Market growth is strong. The enterprise SaaS market is now generating USD 20 billion in quarterly revenues for software vendors, a number that is growing by 32 percent per year, while the worldwide public cloud services market is projected to grow by 17.3 percent in 2019 to a total of USD 206.2 billion, up from USD 175.8 billion in 2018.3 The customers are out there. The trick is deciding which to pursue.

As described in the whitepaper, “Differentiating for Success: A Guide for Cloud Service Providers,” trying to be all things to all people might not be the best route to success. Instead, differentiation – being unique from your competitors – can help attract and retain customers looking for a specific offering.

Differentiation can take many forms. For example, some CSPs might choose to focus on serving small businesses, of which there are 24 million in America alone.4 Providing industry-specific expertise and services, such as for the financial services, legal, medical or gas and oil exploration industries is another way to stand out from the crowd. Other ideas for differentiation include the following:

  • Concentrating on a geographic region
  • Providing workload-specific optimizations, such as for high performance computing (HPC), machine learning/artificial intelligence and streaming media
  • Offering enhanced data security measures
  • Specializing in hybrid cloud deployments
  • Providing the flexibility that customers need, whether that is the simplest setup of services, or the ability to adjust the hardware and software stack down the smallest detail
  • Making innovative technology available to early-adopter customers who value having access to the latest toys

Whichever course of differentiation you choose, making the right investments in infrastructure – both hardware and software – can help you reach your goals. For example, Intel’s high-performance hardware backed by a broad portfolio of software, libraries and frameworks can help. From acceleration technologies like SmartNICs and field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), to high-core-count processors, to affordable yet speedy memory and storage technologies, Intel has hardware options to support a wide variety of workloads or services.

Software offerings including libraries that boost machine learning and data analytics performance, accelerate storage, and create amazing media experiences can help CSPs find their niche and excel in it. Intel’s offerings are backed by their contribution to open source projects, such as the optimization of popular deep-learning frameworks like Caffe*, BigDL* and Theano*.

In addition, Intel’s engineers offer deep expertise in a variety of industries (examples include financial services and healthcare) and technologies (such as deep learning and blockchain). Collaborating with these engineers can help you tailor and fine tune your service offerings, whether they take the form of infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), software as a service (SaaS), or everything as a service (XaaS). Intel also offers a wide selection of resources specific to CSPs, including initiative programs, such as the Intel® Cloud Insider Program (Intel® CIP), and community forums.

To find out more about how to grow your business through differentiation, read the whitepaper, “Differentiating for Success: A Guide for Cloud Service Providers.”