By Raul Castanon, Partner Marketing Manager, End User Computing
Cloud Computing and the economy dominated the conversation at VAR500 last week in NY. Vendors showed optimism about the economy and about cloud computing, but also recognized that cloud adoption is not moving “as fast as expected” (Chad Berndtson “VAR500 See Cautious Optimism, Economic Growth Behind The C-Word“).
This scenario is familiar to anyone who has followed the cloud conversation for the last two years. Events like VAR500 and this week’s Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston overflow with great PowerPoint presentations about cloud computing from technology vendors and startups, but few, if any, actual success stories.
Cloud computing DOES offer many benefits that are realistic: scalable, on-demand, flexible computing power with minimal effort and low CAPEX/OPEX. What’s not to like? These are not unrealistic hopes and many technological, compliance and security issues have been addressed by vendors.
However, there are still unresolved issues that are overshadowed by the hype surrounding cloud computing and two in particular that I believe are stalling the adoption of cloud computing:
- First and foremost is defining the role of the channel in the business model. The channel will continue to be relevant but it will have to adapt to the new opportunities that are emerging, such as evaluating and selecting vendors and solutions.
- Secondly, and not completely unrelated, there are still unresolved issues regarding carrying the cost of infrastructure.
The marketing buzz surrounding cloud computing is heavy on benefits and possibilities but the presentations that we see on the Internet and conferences usually do not discuss the role of the channel. There could be many reasons for this but sometimes words left unsaid speak louder; in this case, not addressing the role of the channel can indicate avoidance, ignorance or both.
The channel is the “last mile” in selling and delivering services to the enterprise and remains the missing piece of the puzzle to moving cloud computing beyond the hype. Vendors are making extraordinary efforts to reach the enterprise with the cloud message, but only until we involve the channel will this message get through and make cloud computing a reality.