DCN October 2016 - Page 7

industry news A LACK OF VENDOR SUPPORT PREVENTS CHANNEL FROM FULFILLING CLOUD AMBITIONS Integrating new IT environments with on-premise data centres and other deployments is necessary for seamless IT operations The gradual movement of data centres from on-premise services toward hosted services such as colocation, managed hosting and cloud is an important shift in enterprise IT infrastructure, compelling data centre service providers to expand their portfolios to support hybrid environments. With enterprise IT infrastructure currently being a combination of traditional and cloud services, providers need to tailor their solutions to offer management and technical aid for a complex setup. European Data Centre Services Market is the new analysis that is part of the IT Services & Applications Growth Partnership Service program, which also includes subjects such as enterprise infrastructure transformation, physical to virtual back up software, managed security services, mobile device management, software defined networking and cloud computing. Different service providers are pursuing different strategies. For instance, carrier neutral colocation providers will pursue interconnections as an important business. Meanwhile, traditional hosting providers are incorporating cloud capabilities of their own or by partnering with cloud service providers to enable different enterprise IT environments through managed services. ‘Already, retail colocation providers are sealing partnerships with cloud providers to meet enterprise demand for cloud interconnections,’ said digital transformation research analyst Shuba Ramkumar. ‘Colocation providers are building cloud ecosystems to allow enterprises to operate in hybrid IT environments. There is increased focus on private networking models to deliver seamless access and increase security of data centre services.’ Although Western Europe is the growth hub for colocation and managed hosting in Europe, Eastern Europe is fast catching up with cloud and hosting technology trends. The overall European market, driven by enterprise need to outsource IT infrastructure management, is expected to grow from $5.65bn in 2015 to $10.13bn in 2020, at a compound annual growth rate of 12.3 per cent. Vendors must do more to help the UK IT channel overcome the barriers to selling cloud based services if resellers are to fully capitalise on this opportunity and satisfy end user demand. This is the key finding from a major research project revealed today by the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) and Intermedia. The research, conducted by Vanson Bourne in Q2 2016 on behalf of CIF and Intermedia, polled 150 senior decision makers from IT channel organisations (MSPs, technical VARs and Systems Integrators) regarding their attitudes and confidence in reselling cloud services. Despite 99 per cent of respondents recognising the potential benefits of cloud, only 65 per cent are offering cloud based services today. A significant departure from more traditional IT models, the vast majority of channel organisations selling cloud services today have had to overcome significant barriers in doing so. The survey identified three common roadblocks:  2 per cent view cultural changes within the 8 organisation to be a challenge, 81 per cent have experienced staff skills shortages, and 80 per cent have come up against difficulties surrounding their cloud marketing and positioning. Commenting on the findings, Alex Hilton, CEO of the Cloud Industry Forum, said, ‘The channel is clearly struggling when it comes to cloud deployments and is missing out on major opportunities as a result. We have seen end user adoption of cloud based services rocket in recent years, with 78 per cent of end user organisations using at least one cloud based service today, up from 61 per cent in 2012, but the channel hasn’t been able to keep up with demand. Resellers that do sell cloud services are reporting a wide range of benefits, from improved competitive edge to extended revenues and market reach. This puts channel resellers that haven’t yet made the move at a distinct disadvantage.’ 7