The channel is being urged to take steps to deal with steadfast ignorance of cloud computing and services among business users after two different reports in the space of a week highlighted the fact that IT buyers are still largely unaware of the technology.
The two reports from GFI Software and hosted cloud provider Rise both painted a broadly similar picture, with GFI claiming 63% of IT decision-makers in SMEs had no understanding of cloud computing, while Rise's figures suggested 58% were effectively clueless.
Furthermore, GFI added, only 15% and 11% of decision-makets had not heard of managed or hosted services respectively, leading CEO Walter Scott to pose the question: "Given these terms are practically synonymous, is there too much emphasis on jargon and not enough on the basic components of cloud services?"
Despite the low-levels of cloud uptake, GFI found a majority of firms were using some kind of hosted service, albeit usually basic services such as email filtering or anti-virus, suggesting the concept of clouds is not being pitched correctly.
Steve Holford, marketing director at Rise, which was launched back in
by web hosting firm FastHosts, said resellers could easily take more responsibility for raising cloud awareness if they restructure and motivate their sales teams to sell recurring cloud-based revenues over time, instead of the more tempting option of a large one-time CAPEX sale.
Holford added that the channel could use the looming spectre of massive cuts in public sector spending, as announced yesterday by the government, as a means to upsell hosted clouds.
"I think we will find people become a lot more open to clouds; the public sector will still have to deliver their services to the public, and CAPEX spending will become harder to get signed off," he said.