The IT Channel has a critical role in driving Cloud adoption

Over a third of IT resellers do not currently offer Cloud services, research finds.

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London, UK. - 29 Jan 2013: The Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) announced today how research with 150 decision makers from IT Channel organisations found a gap between the expectations of end users and service providers, along with other key findings.

The report, entitled ‘The critical role of the Channel in driving Cloud adoption’, was unveiled at Cloud Expo Europe in London. The research, sponsored by IBM (NYSE:IBM) and conducted in December 2012, drew information from senior decision makers from IT Channel organisations including Managed Service Providers (MSPs), technical VAR’s and Systems Integrators from both the UK and Ireland.

 Andy Burton, Chair of CIF and CEO of Fasthosts said, “In reality, Cloud impacts supply chains, responsibilities and accountabilities of parties, contracts, financial operations, reward systems and service expectations. Cloud is, at its heart, about enabling transformation. The fact that over a third of resellers still refrain from offering Cloud services is significant and leading Cloud platform vendors can do a lot to educate, and assist Channel in managing their own business transformation.”

Burton presented the research at the Cloud Expo Europe alongside Jerry Crossfield, IBM UK & Ireland MSP Leader. The research made several key findings including:

Crossfield said, “Cloud is gaining momentum in the Channel, but this latest research has revealed that the Channel’s zeal for Cloud doesn’t always match that of end users. It’s vital that resellers can keep pace with end users and find some convergence with their needs and wants, lest they miss out on opportunities for growth."

CIF’s research also draws out skills as an on-going concern as the Channel continues to move toward supplying Cloud services; 19% of respondents cited staff skills needed to sell solutions as a significant challenge, and only a fifth stating they were fully capable of addressing Cloud concerns with end users.

The White Paper, based on independent and in-depth research conducted by Vanson Bourne on behalf of CIF to determine the level of Cloud readiness and confidence within the portfolio of the traditional IT Channel, encompasses their optimism for growth and the challenges they are confronted with in securing that growth.

Burton concluded: “The UK and Ireland IT Channel have a unique opportunity to enhance their market positioning, but for this to happen, resellers will need to re-examine their business models, taking careful note of the key considerations included in this Paper.”

White Paper (11), The critical role of the Channel in driving Cloud adoption, is available now from:

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