Cloud is being tipped as one of the major growth areas this year as vendors try to place their bets of where the growth in the channel will be coming from.
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With 2011 likely to remain a tough trading environment the prospects of sales around cloud will be welcomed by resellers looking for a way of driving their businesses forward this year.
Figures from analysts indicate that cloud is growing, with the expansion initially of private clouds before firms turn to public providers, and it is making more of a contribution to channel coffers.
Their are a number of voices happily adding their backing for cloud sales expansion this year with opportunities for the channel to help IT managers build and manage virtual environments.
"While 2010 may have been the year of cloud talk, 2011 is the year of cloud action," said Colin Bannister, vice president and CTO of CA Technologies UK & Ireland.
"Cloud computing will become the predominate way that organisations operate - either via public, private or hybrid clouds. Organisations will uncover realistic, practical uses that give them the flexibility and speed they require to better meet the fast-changing needs of the business. Service providers will prove to be the guidepost for enterprises, as IT pros look to them for lessons learned," he added.
The requirement for cloud management and integration into existing operations is also expected to increase in demand this year providing the channel with a sales opportunity.
"The adoption of hybrid computing environments will continue apace in 2011. However, reality will set in as more IT managers realise they have to manage and integrate it with the rest of their IT infrastructure. It's no small task. What they're going to find out is that they have to work out integration back into legacy environments," said Craig Beddis, senior vice president of rest of world at UC4 Software.