• A lack of vendor support prevents channel from fulfilling cloud ambitions, finds new CIF research

        • Vendors must do more to help the UK IT channel overcome the barriers to selling cloud-based services if resellers are to fully capitalise on this opportunity and satisfy end-user demand. This is according to new research from the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) and Intermedia.

          The research, conducted by Vanson Bourne on behalf of CIF and Intermedia, polled 150 senior decision-makers from IT channel organisations regarding their attitudes and confidence in reselling cloud services. Despite 99 per cent of respondents recognising the potential benefits of cloud, only 65 per cent were actually offering cloud-based services.

          Eight out of ten resellers identified the key barriers to selling cloud services as, cultural changes within the organisation, staff skills shortages, and difficulties surrounding their cloud marketing and positioning.

          Alex Hilton, CEO of the Cloud Industry Forum said, “the channel is clearly struggling when it comes to cloud deployments and is missing out on major opportunities as a result. We have seen end-user adoption of cloud-based services rocket in recent years, with 78 per cent of end user organisations using at least one cloud-based service today, up from 61 per cent in 2012, but the channel hasn’t been able to keep up with demand. Resellers that do sell cloud services are reporting a wide range of benefits, from improved competitive edge to extended revenues and market reach. This puts channel resellers that haven’t yet made the move at a distinct disadvantage.”

          The research indicates that vendor support must increase for the channel to overcome cloud business model challenges. Over a quarter (26 per cent) of respondents felt that vendors were not doing enough to help them transition to the cloud model, 47 per cent would like more guidance on contracts/SLAs, and 44 per cent need additional technical support.

          Eric Weiss, SVP of Marketing at Intermedia added, “while the channel has recognised cloud’s potential, resellers, as made evident by these findings, aren’t getting the support they need to transition. Partners need help differentiating, which is why 82 per cent of respondents incorporate value-adds and 59 per cent view white label programmes as ‘critical’ or ‘very important’ to their success.”

          The full research is available as a White Paper (18) for CIF Professional Members and can be downloaded from: https://www.cloudindustryforum.org/content/cloud-and-channel-threat-or-opportunity

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