Another year is winding down, allowing us all to sit back and reflect on the last year’s trends in various sectors of technology. As more and more businesses flock to the cloud, they have increasingly turned to web hosting providers to maintain and operate their websites.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of 2013’s strongest trends in the web hosting market that carry momentum into 2014:
- The Rise of the Hybrid Cloud: Businesses are increasingly abandoning their virtual private networks in favor of crafting hybrid clouds that leverage the benefits of both public and private models. Recent research suggests the hybrid market will expand to nearly $80 billion by 2018, especially as companies look for a way to handle both mission-critical and less essential applications cost-effectively and securely. This year, Microsoft officially entered the hybrid cloud world with its white-labeled offering of Azure, and VMware similarly hedged its bets with its vCloud service.
- Green Web Hosting: Going green is all the rage, and since data centers can certainly consume a lot of energy, there is an increasing demand for environmentally friendly web hosting services. Some of these services include wind-powered, solar-powered and carbon-neutral facilities. In addition to generating positive public relations, environmentally conscious web hosting stands to save businesses substantially on energy costs. Recent research suggests the market for green data centers will surge at a compound annual growth rate of 28 percent through 2016, where it will reach $45.4 billion. Players in the green web hosting space include AISO.net, a hosting company founded in 1997 that is powered by self-generated energy, and Green Web Hosting, which offers solar-powered hosting and carbon-offset hosting.
- Global Demand: The number of connected devices continues to increase, with industry insiders putting the count at 26 billion by 2020, allowing businesses to generate $1.9 trillion of revenue by 2022. This trend will continue to expand demand for web hosting services across the world. As more and more devices become connected, there will be an ever-increasing need for hosting capacity. This means that there’s virtually no end in sight when it comes to the growth of the market.
- Market Saturation: As the demand for web hosting rises, so does the number of vendors trying to claim a piece of the pie. With this in mind, providers should figure out how to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Increased competition benefits consumers, who can select aggressively priced solutions specifically crafted to their needs. Customers will be attracted to providers that are cost-effective, have exemplary customer service and technical support, are user-friendly, have great features and have good customer reviews.
- Increased Mobility: Recent research shows that more than half of American adults now own smartphones. Furthermore, studies predict tablet sales will overtake desktop sales by 2015. These increasing figures suggest that the demand for quick access to information is rising as well. Users want to retrieve data as easily as possible, which means hosting providers should strive to upgrade their capabilities to meet this demand.
Providers should keep these trends in mind when mapping out the future of their businesses. It remains to be seen what 2014 will bring, but the traction of the cloud-based web hosting market seems certain to surge, causing the market to expand at an even faster rate.