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computing is generating significant revenue streams for IT channel companies,
which plan to boost their cloud investments in the next year, according to
research from CompTIA, a nonprofit trade association for the IT industry. Among
IT channel companies offering cloud computing solutions, 46 percent report
deriving 50 percent or more of their annual revenue from cloud-related products
and services in the last 12 months, according to the survey. The large majority
of these companies (85 percent) expect cloud sales to grow in the next 12

clearly underscores the momentum cloud is having on the marketplace and the
variety of opportunity avenues available to the channel,” said Carolyn April,
director of industry analysis for CompTIA. April noted nearly half of the
channel firms surveyed for CompTIA’s Second Annual Trends in Cloud Computing
study plan to bump their investment in cloud business by between 10 and 15
percent in the next 12 months. Last year, less than a third said they were upping
their investment to that degree.

revenue-generating cloud solutions for channel companies include the
“low-hanging fruit” of cloud-based email, storage, backup and recovery, and
business productivity applications. These solutions are in high demand among
customers, but are relatively simple for channel companies to deliver, the
study found. Nearly six in 10 channel companies with $20 million or more in
annual revenue reaped revenue from mobile application development as a result
of their cloud-based sales.

describing themselves as having “light involvement” with cloud, nearly four in 10
said they made money from cloud integration work in the last 12 months, and
eight in 10 value-added resellers (VARs) reaped post-sale integration work from
the cloud last year. More sophisticated services, such as collaboration and
analytics, are also on the horizon for cloud solution providers, according to
April. “These are lucrative opportunity areas that generate significant
integration work between internal and cloud-based systems and applications and
other clouds,” she said.

what appears to be a more trusting attitude from customers toward putting
sensitive applications and data into the cloud, six in 10 channel companies
report security concerns are the main roadblock to a cloud sale, consistent
among customers of all sizes. “In all likelihood, the security concerns are a
function of cloud’s relative immaturity, and that as adoption increases and
more demonstrable examples of cloud implementations come to bear, the
apprehension over security issues will lessen,” April said.

CompTIA study also suggests that much foundational work needs to be done within
the IT channel as the evolution of cloud computing accelerates. Roughly one in
five channel firms said they have either a partial roadmap or no roadmap for
their cloud business plans. Channel companies also face a number of challenges—primarily
business-related—as they shift more of their focus to cloud. “For these firms,
the next part of the process will be determining the role they will play in the
cloud evolution and how they will implement steps needed to make the transition
and deal with obstacles,” said April.