Cloud Computing Customers Say Channel Partners Aren't Prepared

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Nearly two-thirds of enterprises feel their channel partners aren't adequately prepared to support their cloud computing endeavors, a recent survey by research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB) has found.

In its recent CMB Tech Pulse survey, the firm asked 247 IT decision makers from companies of various sizes to share their thoughts on cloud computing.

When asked about their attitude toward channel partners' ability to support their transition to cloud computing, 54 percent of respondents said the channel needs additional training and resources to be adequately prepared, while 12 percent said their channel partners are not prepared at all. Thirty-four percent of respondents said their channel partners are very well prepared to bring them into the cloud.

While the majority of respondents said their channel partners aren't yet up to snuff when it comes to the cloud, a good portion of respondents said cloud computing confusion has waned and adoption plans for the cloud increased over the last 12 months. A CMB Tech Pulse study from 2009 found that 15 percent of respondents had aggressive plans to migrate toward cloud computing architectures, while 2010's study revealed that nearly double – 28 percent – of that amount is ready to make the move to the cloud. Additionally, the 2010 study found that organizations expect to more than double the workload running on cloud architectures within the next two years.

"In 2008 and 2009 we saw a big disconnect between industry and trade press hype about cloud computing vs. purchase plans from actual IT departments who write the checks for these solutions," Chris Neal, vice president of Chadwick Martin Bailey's technology and telecom practice said in the study. "We're now seeing that all the industry marketing dollars spent on promoting cloud computing have started to actually move the needle."

Despite revealing aggressive deployment plans for cloud computing, the study also found that IT departments still favor internal cloud solutions, or private clouds, for most of their workloads, rather than public, or externally-provisioned cloud solutions. The survey revealed that collaboration, databases and corporate e-mail and calendaring are the applications most commonly put in the cloud, with those applications being deployed mostly internally vs. externally.

Thirty-two percent of respondents said security was their main concern regarding cloud computing, while 17 percent said the price and costs were a top worry. Those concerns prompted survey respondents to note that vendors need to make their cloud computing solutions more secure with simpler pricing models.

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