New Survey from 451 Research Quantifies the Underrepresented Buying Behaviors of the Service Provider


New York, NY, May 22, 2018451 Research’s first-ever quarterly Voice of the Service Provider survey indicates that 77% of service providers will require some level of IT transformation over the next three years to meet the changing needs of their customers and remain competitive. 

VSP service provider transformation chartSpecifically, service providers will be challenged by automation, scalability and reliability going forward. Based on the results, the traditional hardware and software vendors will also have to compete with the public cloud providers as service providers consider hyperscalers for their next compute and storage purchases, since many enterprises are moving workloads off-premises.

“Over the next two years, 60% of enterprises will run most of their IT in off-premises environments,” said Al Sadowski, Research Vice President for Voice of the Service Provider at 451 Research. “As such, the vendor community must adapt their product roadmaps, marketing programs and sales strategies to address the growing role service providers will play. Our Voice of the Service Provider surveys help to quantify the drivers and priorities.”


Service providers pick vendors to work with based on what services they must provide to customers and what differentiates them in the market. In the Voice of the Service Provider survey, 39% of service providers identified reliability as the most important vendor selection criterion, which mirrors the top customer pain point revealed to service providers. They are also not afraid to forgo traditional hardware solutions in favor of simpler solutions to provision. For example, among respondents, 57% will deploy hyperconverged platforms in the next 12 months, up from 38% deployed today.

Additionally, the most represented services are not the fastest-growing IT segments, but remain backup and disaster recovery. Creating a competency for new technology and attracting customers takes time for service providers, especially when the majority of them (39%) prefer to work with a small group of strategic partners. The vendors that can prove their solutions reliable and of value to their customers are more likely to succeed.

Other key findings from the Q1 Infrastructure Evolution survey:

  • Intel and AMD are no longer expected to be the only games in town for servers over the next 12 months – Arm’s cost and flexibility show promise.
  • There is strong interest in open networking projects, but limited adoption.
  • Twenty-one percent (21%) of service providers do not have a formal strategy for handling the Internet of Things.
  • The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Brexit are likely accelerants for service expansion within the EU over the next 12 months.

Get the VSP Results

The Voice of the Service Provider Q1 2018 Quarterly Advisory Report – Infrastructure Evolution is available for purchase now. 451 Research clients interested in purchasing this service can contact their 451 Research account manager or sales@451research.com. To learn more: 


About Voice of the Service Provider

451 Research’s Voice of the Service Provider: Infrastructure Evolution Q1 survey was completed from January through March 2018. The survey represents prequalified business leaders at infrastructure-based service providers in the US, UK, China and India. Through quarterly surveys and in-depth interviews with this panel, Voice of the Service Provider helps to qualify and quantify buying behaviors, business drivers, and strategic priorities for the expanding universe of public cloud providers, hosters, MSPs, telcos, systems integrators, SaaS companies and colos. Subsequent quarters will focus on differentiation, vendor selection, budget trends and workloads.

About 451 Research

451 Research is a preeminent information technology research and advisory company. With a core focus on technology innovation and market disruption, we provide essential insight for leaders of the digital economy. More than 100 analysts and consultants deliver that insight via syndicated research, advisory services, and live events to more than 1,000 client organizations in North America, Europe and around the world. Founded in 2000 and headquartered in New York, 451 Research is a division of the 451 Group. Learn more and connect with 451 Research on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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