"The broad interest in cloud computing is understandable, considering that it enables IT organisations to become more cost-efficient and agile '” for example, by centralising their applications, servers, data, and storage resources, and dynamically moving their resources, or virtual machines," said Sylvia WÃ¼nsche, research analyst, European telecommunications and networking for IDC.
According to WÃ¼nsche, with cloud adoption '” private, public, or hybrid '” significantly growing, IDC see that major vendors in EMEA are rolling out cloud enablement programs and initiatives for their channel partners 'where they can choose to act as cloud resellers, cloud builders, and cloud service providers '” for example, Cisco's Cloud Partner Program (CPP).'
IDC makes the point that many vendors, including Cisco and HP Networking, further announced new or enhanced partner certifications (cloud architect certification) or specialisation programs in 2011, and it believes this trend will continue. 'The focus on partner competency is essential in a cloud economy, which is fuelled by high customer requirements for skilled and experienced partners that can easily deploy cloud-based solutions in IT environments,' WÃ¼nsche says.
'We believe the IT industry is going through a significant transformation. IT is increasingly being delivered as a service rather than in the form of capital expenditure on physical assets. Cloud computing fuels this and impacts the traditional channel landscape. Within the overall partner ecosystem we see new channel players such as cloud service aggregators (CSAs), including CloudBroker, evolving that gather services from multiple vendors and deliver them in a bundle to enterprises.'
IDC also stresses that service providers (SPs) are well positioned to gain a significant share in the emerging cloud service value chain. 'The role of (cloud) service providers will grow as these partners are high-volume consumers of infrastructure, technology development partners, and market influencers. The CSA model will further evolve and challenge distributors to align their offerings to remain competitive,' WÃ¼nsche concludes.