How Much Do Customers Really 'Get' Cloud?

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Cloud computing is rapidly changing the way businesses operate, whether it disrupts their data centers or networking capabilities. But for services providers and channel partners, customers can fall on a broad spectrum of understanding of actual cloud capabilities.

’From our standpoint, we view cloud as the enabler of the IT transformation journey. Customers are starting to look at ways to become more agile and flexible with their business. They want the ability to link their development and operations culture. They want the ability to try new projects and new deployments quickly and easily,’ said Smartronix Vice President Sean McCarron.

Cloud Sherpas CTO David Hoff agreed. ’For the longest time kind of having that technology expertise was an earlier differentiator in the cloud," he said.

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Today, Hoff said, the questions are around business outcomes and operations.

RightBrain Networks CEO Jamie Begin said some customers still haven’t even bought into the power of the cloud model.

’I think cloud is important as a tool set; I think a lot of people are going to be very surprised at just how disruptive it’s going to be as a business model,’ he said.

Along those same lines, Cumulus Global CEO Allen Falcon said while customers understand the significance of cloud, they don’t get how the technology actually functions.

’Customers are thinking cloud is the same thing I’m doing today, but just the technology sits somewhere else, and it’s not,’ he said.