As the concept of cloud computing gains a foothold in many IT departments, CompTIA has published two white papers designed to help channel partners learn more about the technology.
The organization’s Cloud/SaaS Community developed the white papers, which focus on cloud computing definitions and business models for channel partners.
“Both of these topics – definitions of cloud computing and the IT channel’s role in making it happen – were identified by our membership as issues that are roadblocks to broader adoption," said Jim Hamilton, senior director of member relations at CompTIA.
The first paper, “Outlining Cloud Computing for the Channel," clarifies and expands on cloud computing definitions. “Through anecdotal feedback from our membership and confirmed through our own research, clearly both the IT channel and end-user customers are in search of a more authoritative, uniform definition of cloud computing," Hamilton said. “In our September 2010 study, ‘Cloud Computing: Pulling Back the Curtain,’ 63 percent of channel respondents and roughly 60 percent of end users say they desire a singular definition for cloud computing. More than two-thirds of the channel said having a clear definition will help them present a more convincing value proposition for cloud computing to their customers, and nearly half of customers said the definition will show them how they should best buy and consume cloud computing solutions."
The second paper, “Cloud Computing Business Models for the Channel," defines the sales cycle, stages of development and roles of IT channel companies in the cloud computing space. It also identifies and defines basic cloud business models and outlines the orientation and relationship of cloud computing models to businesses operating in and around the channel.
“Most solution providers/VARs/service providers are trying to figure out how to re-orient their business to incorporate the cloud into their offerings," Hamilton noted. “The good news for the channel is that customers want to use them as a source for their cloud computing solutions, more so than vendors, consultants or self-service options. But without a sharper picture of channel roles in the cloud computing equation, and a better understanding of the value proposition that each business entity in the supply chain brings to customers, many in the channel community will miss out."
The Cloud/SaaS Community developed the white papers in response to a growing interest in cloud services – a technology still in its infancy within the channel, Hamilton said.
“Cloud computing is still a nascent business model or option for the majority of channel companies," he said. “Our September 2010 cloud study found that … 42 percent have no current involvement with cloud computing as either a consumer or a seller."
Still, there is no denying the opportunity for channel partners, especially in the areas of integration and cloud-based BI and analytics.
“Two cloud solutions seemed poised for steep growth in the channel, based on our research: 39 percent of solution providers expect to offer cloud integration services in the coming year, up from 29 percent who currently offer these services; and 39 percent expect to offer cloud-based business intelligence and analytics services, up from 25 percent that currently offer these solutions," Hamilton said.
The white papers are available to CompTIA members on the organization’s online Member Resource Center.