In a recent article, we laid out the statistics that describe where web and application hosting will be financially as of 2019, according to 451 Research. These numbers, and indeed their entire report, are global in scope. But you don’t have to be a global player to put emerging changes to work for your company.
A Quick Recap
In 2014 market shares looked like this:
- 60 percent North America
- 26 percent Europe/Mideast/Africa (EMEA)
- 10 percent Asia Pacific (APAC)
- 2 percent Latin America
By 2019, 451 Research projects that breakdown will look like this:
- 53 percent North America
- 26 percent EMEA
- 17 percent APAC
- 4 percent Latin America
Asia and Latin America should see impressive average annual growth of about 30 percent through 2019. North America and Europe will also continue to grow, but at a far more modest 12-14 percent.
Taking a Broader View
As an American web and/or app hosting provider, how can you continue to grow your business despite declining market share? The Biggest of the Big Boys are looking offshore. If statistics show the hottest growth is happening elsewhere, they want in on that action. 451 Research notes the three largest firms – GoDaddy, Endurance International Group and Web.com -- are “increasingly targeting expansion into emerging markets.”
They are focusing their sights on countries believed to offer greatest growth opportunities. That would be India and Brazil, but also Singapore/Malaysia, Turkey, China and Russia among others. With market share expected to double by 2019, Latin America is looking pretty attractive, too.
International operations are nothing new to many providers. Although GoDaddy had not yet finalized any foreign acquisitions as of last fall, they have significantly beefed up their European language support, adding 16 languages in 23 markets. They also opened a customer service center in Ireland and extended operations in Canada and Australia.
But what if you aren’t an industry giant?
You never will be, if you’re like the majority of web and app hosting providers. So what? There is plenty of territory you can grow into without venturing overseas. The fact is, there are thousands of small businesses looking for web and application hosting advice and assistance. Many of them don’t even know what they need, exactly, but they know they need a new plan. They may not even realize they need a company like yours to help them. It’s your job to show them what they can do and why you’re the ideal partner to make it happen.
Look beyond the borders of your current customer list. Emulate the Big Boys in microcosm, adapting their approach on a scale that matches your company goals and capabilities. Even the largest multi-nationals can’t be everything to every possible customer. They expand carefully. So can you. Focus on your strengths as a provider, along with your target market’s greatest needs. Then consider what type of expansion will work best for you:
- Even for small firms, acquisitions and mergers are a real possibility.
- Consider geographic expansion. This may be more a change in marketing strategy than physical presence.
- Augment your product offerings. Do you already offer hosting services, website building products, security, email and other business products or other web applications? If not, is one of these categories an area you identified as particularly bothersome for your target prospects?
- Broaden the range of services you offer. With growing adoption of cloud-based work environments (another important trend), your customers and prospects may be looking for help with new and different types of hosting or other managed services.
To repeat – because this is key to your future – your best prospects may not have any idea what they need. They just know they are using more technology and even maintaining their website is more complex than ever. Whatever their business, it is not IT management. Yet they cannot concentrate on their own business growth without a supportive, smoothly functioning back end.
That’s where you come in. If you can solve their problems – or, better yet, anticipate them and head them off – you will secure your place as their go-to resource. And you won’t even need your passport.
In our next article, we’ll explore 451 Research’s concept of Best Execution Venue. It’s their take on marketplace stratification that is transforming web and application hosting.
- The Future of Web and App Hosting: By the Numbers
- 6 Trends that Will Transform Your Hosting Business
- How To Get the Most Effective Technical Support from Your Vendor