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The cloud pitch is evolving beyond just being a means to an end and a chance for firms to use computing power and storage space off site to a fundamental building block for digital transformation projects.
Research from industry organisation CompTIA, Cloud Computing Operational Efficiency in the Channel, found that the vast majority of firms are using hosted services but are now looking to take the next step and use it to support emerging technologies.
Although the research is US based there are conclusions that will echo across this side of the Atlantic with many of the firms quizzed reporting that cloud has helped increase automation.
“At the same time that the percentage of cloud-based IT architecture is approaching critical mass, we’re seeing rising interest in cutting-edge trends that are largely driven by cloud computing,” said Seth Robinson, CompTIA’s senior director for technology analysis.
“First and foremost, cloud computing allows users to widen the scope of technology possibilities, whether it’s accelerating existing plans or experimenting with new uses,” he added. “By engaging with cloud providers, they gain access to powerful new tools without having to make a full investment or build in-house skills.”
As well as using cloud as a springboard to introduce fresh tools the other opportunity for the channel is helping users with the challenge of multi-cloud management.
CompTIA found that half of those it quizzed used a mix of cloud vendors, which hinted at potential issues in dealing with that growing complexity.
Brad Parks, vp marketing and business development at Morpheus, said that the size of the cloud management opportunity was a sizeable one for the channel.
"Customers are starting to build on the first generation cloud management," he added "Customer's don't want to feel locked in with any one cloud provider, even the small ones, because new options are appearing all the time."