Cloud and the channel – Threat or opportunity?

Today, roughly two-thirds (65%) of the UK IT channel offers Cloud services as a part of their portfolio to their clients. While this represents only a small increase from the last time that this research was conducted in 2012, it is clear that the channel’s engagement with the delivery model is deepening. Today some 57% of providers own their own data centre, up from 39% in 2012 and we have seen a similar rise in co-location services. Those organisations selling Cloud services offer an increasingly sophisticated portfolio and are shifting their business models to become Managed Service Providers (MSPs), able to better support clients throughout the entire IT transformation.

The vast majority (98%) of organisations selling Cloud services report having seen tangible benefits of some kind, the most common being improved competitive edge in the market (selected by 43% of respondents), extended revenues (40%) and the ability to offer more choice for customers (40%).

It is important to note, however, that the move to Cloud is not without its challenges. Respondents in this research project identified a wide range of organisational, cultural and skills-related issues impeding their ability to sell and support Cloud effectively.  Many resellers are still developing sales models that allow them to manage their cash flow whilst ensuring differentiation, competitive advantage and monetisation.

Vendors have a critical role to play in helping the channel to overcome these challenges and assisting partners through the complete sales cycle, from product/ solution education and lead generation, through to migration, account administration and technical support.

Download this report for a full summary of the findings and recommendations for helping service providers maximise the Cloud opportunity.

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