For the past few years designer dogs have been all the rage.  You know the cock-a-poo, golden doodle, peek-a-poo, etc.  They represent a trend to take the exact traits you want from different breeds and combine them to get exactly what you are looking for.  You want a cute little puppy that is non-shedding and hypo-allergenic? No problem.  I was reading an article today in MSPmentor about a merger of cloud based MSPs that made me think of something my friend Andreas Antonopolis told me the other day.  Andreas says we are heading to an era of designer clouds.

The merger reported in MSPmentor was between HEIT and Simpler-Webb.  This merger supposedly “forming the largest U.S. managed services provider focused on the financial services vertical market — serving more than 450 banks and credit unions.”  Whether you believe that or not is not the issue.  The issue is specialization.  Andreas says we will have vertical and horizontal specialization in cloud providers.

There will be some large public cloud providers that horizontally aim at large or small enterprises across different business verticals and industries.  The Amazon, Rackspace and Google model if you will.  They will have a wide range of options, but nothing really specialized for a given industry vertical.

Countering this will be a wider number of  “designer cloud providers”. Much like we see in the MSP world and what we saw in the data center business, some providers will stand up cloud offerings that are very specifically tailored to the needs of a particular industry.  These industry specific feature sets may not be as attractive to other verticals, but will offer the “killer” feature set to allow these designer clouds to thrive in given verticals.

Of course the question always is can the selected vertical scale to make a dedicated play in that vertical worthwhile.  Cloud is about scalability. Having a small cloud kind of goes against the grain. So which verticals make good candidates for designer clouds? Again the answer will depend on which vertical. Certainly, the old stand by of the financial sector is big enough.  Health Care, Manufacturing and Hi-Tech should be good too.  What other verticals could attract their own designer clouds?

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