CompTIA: Cloud Migration Presents Both Opportunities and Challenges

By Laura Stotler

Cloud computing is a disruptive game changer, and new research to support that theory was released today by The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA). While the cloud has created a vast amount of opportunities for IT businesses willing to migrate and transform to embrace this new business model, it has also presented a major challenge to more traditional firms unwilling to let go of their business models.

The Fourth Annual Trends in Cloud Computing report shows just how much IT firms have been struggling with migration to the cloud. The research finds 45 percent of those channel companies surveyed were faced with a significant challenge in coming up with the appropriate cloud computing business model during the past year.

The most difficult challenge singled out in the CompTIA research is in developing cloud expertise across both the technical and sales arms of a company once an initial decision on the business model has been made.

Image via Shutterstock

According to CompTIA, there are four main business models that represent the bulk of cloud activity for IT solution providers and managed service providers (MSPs). The "build" model has organizations procuring hardware and software to construct private and/or hybrid clouds for their customers. About half of the companies active today offer some type of build services, while another third plan to add this model to their lineup of offerings.

The "provide/provision" model has the service provider acting as a hub for provisioning vendor-based as well as homegrown cloud services to end customers. About half the firms working in the cloud are using this type of model, with a third of those queried professing this model has the most growth potential for the next two years.

The "enable/integrate" approach has providers offering integration and implementation services that may tie into a customer's on-premises solutions or customize cloud offerings to fit a niche vertical or specific business requirement. According to CompTIA, integration work has been the leading source of post-dale dollars in the cloud computing realm for three years running.

The final business model outlined is the "manage/support" approach, in which service providers offer ongoing management and support of cloud-based services. This is performed on a contractual basis or as project work, and providers may add, scale and troubleshoot cloud services on an as-needed basis.

"Channel firms can play a critical role in determining when cloud versus on-premises works best for their customers," said Carolyn April, director of industry analysis and research at CompTIA. "For instance, the customers' desire to increase mobile/remote access to company data sparked 46 percent of channel firms to recommend cloud solutions, compared with 38 percent last year. This underscores the surge in mobility solutions, as well as BYOD and telecommuting trends that are happening in the marketplace. It also demonstrates the channel's ability to tie the value of cloud into these burgeoning areas."

ITEXPO Las Vegas is taking place this week with a conference session on tap for today that discusses many of the points outlined in the CompTIA report. The "QoS in the Cloud: Your Revenue Guarantee" conference session will take place at 2:45 p.m. PDT at Mandalay Bay. The session, moderated by MSPToday's own Doug Barney, will examine best practices to ensure quality of service within the cloud, leading to revenue assurance. Speakers include Steven Shalita of NetScout Systems and Mary Stanhope of Global Capacity.

Edited by Alisen Downey

MSPToday Contributing Editor

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