Survey: Partners Need to Get Ahead of Business Cloud Adoption


Edward GatelyWith business cloud adoption happening faster than many thought, the channel needs to begin preparing and training internal teams to become cloud experts.

That’s according to BetterCloud’s 2016 State of Cloud IT Report, based on independent research and a survey of 1,500 IT professionals. It shows how cloud is “affecting modern businesses and the IT professionals that power them,” particularly accentuating differences between Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps customers.

Scott Solomon, BetterCloud’s content marketing manager, tells Channel Partners that by 2022, “it will be more likely that you work for an organization that runs 100 percent of [its] IT services and applications in the cloud than one that doesn’t.” Partners provide value by offering cloud expertise, professional services, consolidated billing and more.

“Partners should know that they are valued,” he said. “Eighty percent of large enterprises that worked with a partner in some capacity were satisfied, compared to just 60 percent of large enterprises that did not work with a partner at all.”{ad}

Some 61 percent of organizations founded in the last two years were “born in the cloud,” according to the report. Also, 59 percent of IT pros said the structure and responsibilities of their IT team have changed in the past 12 months.

As organizations adopt more cloud apps, IT professionals save time by automating or offloading routine tasks, the report notes.

The total amount of time it takes to research and deploy Google Apps is 11.2 months, compared to 15.3 months for Office 365. One of the biggest struggles in IT today is cloud-app adoption.

“Partners have a huge opportunity to assist in change management, training and adoption,” Solomon said. “However, the most significant challenge ahead is the shift to heterogeneous environments, where IT is using many cloud apps from many different vendors. In the past, organizations typically only used one or a few vendors for many of their technological needs. The channel needs to think about how [it] can help organizations effectively manage IT when new technology from many vendors is being adopted en masse.”

By 2020, 51 percent of SMBs, 32 percent of midmarket organizations and 21 percent of large organizations said they will be running 100 percent of their apps and services in the cloud, according to the report.

For companies with 18-20 employees, the number of cloud apps is expected to increase from …


… three last year to five in 2017, according to the survey. For those with 35-44 employees, that is expected to increase from six to 15. And for companies with 55-64 employees, the number of cloud apps is expected to increase from four to seven.

The most surprising finding was the amount of research and time it takes companies to migrate to a cloud office system, Solomon said.

“The main takeaway here is that moving to the cloud is an enormous endeavor, and partners have a window to make their case and prove themselves vital to the transition,” he said.

The least surprising finding was the increase in the number of cloud apps organizations expect to be using in 2017, Solomon said.

“The Golden Age of IT poses numerous opportunities for the channel,” he said. “IT is offloading routine work and spending more time on long-term strategic projects. Even if an organization runs 100 percent of their IT in the cloud, there is still a massive amount of work that needs to be done. Partners can help assist IT admins as they shift to working less on routine work and more on vetting and selecting new technology, cloud application integrations, training, data analysis and more.”

IT is quickly becoming one of the most strategic and influential departments in organizations across industries, and “partners that can establish good, ongoing relationships with IT today will be better positioned to influence their decisions in the future,” Solomon said.

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