Forty-five percent of channel companies in the CompTIA's survey say determining the appropriate business model around cloud computing presented a significant challenge in the past year. That assertion falls just behind the most difficult challenge cited in the findings: Developing cloud expertise across both technical and sales arms within a company, a task that logically flows after the initial business model decision is made.
"Primary business considerations depend on where a company wants to go with cloud," said
The study identifies four main cloud business models which encapsulate much of what is being done by IT solutions providers today.
•Build: Firms procuring vendor-based hardware and software products to construct private and/or hybrid clouds for customers. They may also offer consulting guidance on the best IT architecture, configuration and product choices for the project.
•Provide/Provision: This business model for cloud positions the solution provider as the hub for provisioning various vendor-based and homegrown cloud services to the end customer.
•Enable/Integrate: This business framework for cloud has been a sweet spot for channel firms over the past several years. Typically they are providing integration and implementation services that may include tying a customer's on-premises IT solutions to its cloud-based solutions or, customizing cloud-based solutions to fit a particular business need or vertical.
•Manage/Support: In this model, firms are delivering the ongoing management and support of cloud-based services as project work or in a contractual, recurring revenue model. They are also adding, scaling or troubleshooting cloud services as needed.
A matrix of these business models is available at http://www.slideshare.net/comptia/cloud-channel-business-models.
With demand sometimes exceeding supply, channel firms need to react quickly in choosing the proper model. Two-thirds (63 percent) of channel firms characterize customer demand for cloud-based IT solutions and services as either very high or high, with another 3 in 10 describing demand as somewhat high. Four in 10 channel firms said they experienced cases where customer demand for cloud solutions outstripped their capacity to deliver, while 20 percent lost a deal because a customer desired a cloud solution they did not offer.
CompTIA's Fourth Annual Trends in Cloud Computing is based on an online survey conducted in
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Steven OstrowskiDirector, Corporate Communications CompTIA 630-678-8468 firstname.lastname@example.org