A study of more than 350 channel partners found that 96 percent already offer information technology as a service (ITaaS) and almost two-thirds expect it to account for more than one-quarter of revenue by 2017.
The Canalys survey revealed that the public cloud is less important to channel business models; however, channel partners fear the threat of cloud providers bypassing the channel, with 62 percent identifying this as the biggest challenge they face when selling IT-as-a-service.
Customer concerns about cloud security and difficulties in finding skilled consulting staff are also major concerns for almost half of partners when it comes to selling cloud services. More than half believe that their managed-services business is more profitable than reselling hardware and software.
“Product resell is still the most important business model for over 60 percent of channel partners. But they rate the importance of their managed services to their businesses very highly, just behind reselling products,” said Rachel Brindley, research director, channels, Canalys. “Managed services comprise new-world IT as well as old-world IT. Printing, for example, is now heavily driven by managed-services contracts.”