To fuel digital transformations, enterprises are increasingly turning to public cloud services to improve their customer experience, operational excellence, and the broader ecosystem. CIOs have to select from a diverse and changing set of vendors that vary by size, functionality, geography, and vertical market focus.

My recent report, Now Tech: Public Cloud Development Platforms In China, Q2 2018, helps CIOs understand, identify, and shortlist the vendors in the market that align with their most critical business technology needs.

While public cloud began as a means of lowering infrastructure costs and creating new applications, today’s platforms also offer developers a broad range of application, development and infrastructure services.

Forrester defines a public cloud development platform as:

A standardized software foundation to build and run complete applications, which is freely accessible by developers through a self-service interface, employs pay-per-use billing, and offers shared and provider-managed resources on demand.

CIOs can get an overview of 24 public cloud development platform providers in China from the report. Regarding vendor selection, Forrester recommends that you:

  • Select vendors based on size and functionality. We segmented vendors into three categories based on revenue: large established players (more than $200 million in annual revenue), midsize players ($30 million to $200 million in revenue), and smaller players (less than $30 million in revenue) (see figure below). But that’s just the first piece of information that you need to know when making a purchase decision.
  • Understand the market segmentation. CIOs also need to know the market and functionality that each provider segment covers. According to our research, the leading public cloud providers in China offer a full stack of development and infrastructure services. Development-platform-only providers and low-code platform providers offer a range of capabilities and coverage in China.
  • Align individual vendor solutions to your organizational needs. Information about individual vendors, such as where they operate, the main verticals they serve, and their representative customers, will further enable CIOs to embrace the public cloud services that best suit their organizational needs. For example, not all of the services from global public cloud development platform leaders like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft are available in China; at the same time, local giants like Alibaba and Tencent Cloud are working hard to expand their global footprint. CIOs should examine the vendors carefully and choose the one that most aligns with their needs.

To learn more about the current offerings, strategy, and market presence of the leading public cloud development platform providers in China, my colleagues and I are working on a Forrester Wave™ evaluation of enterprise public cloud platforms there. We plan to publish this in early July — so stay tuned!

(This post originally appeared on the Forrester Research blog, which can be viewed here).

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