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There can not be too many channel players that continue to view the cloud as an option they could choose to avoid as they map out their futures.
By now the technology is not only mainstream but customers expect an IT partner to be able to talk about it with some confidence.
Not only will the traditional IT buyer be involved in that cloud conversation but other C level executives could have an influence on the decision, according to the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF).
CIF found that when it comes to a cloud decision 80% of the CEOs and managing directors are part of the discussion, the CFO is dragged into it with almost as much frequency and in 73% of cases the line of business is part of signing off the migration process.
The IT director is still the most constantn element of any cloud migration discussion, being part of the process 94% of the time, but resellers can no longer take it for granted that their traditional audience is the only one they have to impress.
“These figures suggest that CEOs and department heads are now taking an active role in IT procurement decisions. This can come as no shock as the move to Cloud is invariably a business driven decision and one that, in some cases, involves additional investment to support Cloud-based applications,” said Alex Hilton, CEO of CIF.
For the channel the need to own the cloud migration conversation is important because of the further avenues of revenue making opportunities it can throw open.
“A significant proportion (69%) of Cloud users report that they were required to make additional investments to complete their migrations. Just over half – at 54% – made additional investment in hardware and 47% in software," added Hilton.
When it comes to working out just what cloud technologies will be in demand this year from customers the top tip from CIF is around unified comms (UC).
Terry Storrar, IT services director at Annodata, said that cloud was getting the backing of the board room and as a result more processes were being migrated into a hosted environment.
"Now with cloud adoption common among businesses, even the smallest organisation can derive value from mobile working technologies, where they were once limited to larger organisations with access to the infrastructure and range of applications needed to support the service," he said.