IT Firms Profiting From Cloud Use

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As the use of cloud-based services continues to rise, so too do the profits for IT firms offering those services, new research revealed.

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According to a new survey from CompTIA, a nonprofit trade association for the IT industry, nearly half of IT channel companies offering cloud-based services report that 50 percent or more of their annual revenue came from cloud-related products and services in the last year. The vast majority of those companies – 85 percent – are expecting cloud sales to continue growing.

“This clearly underscores the momentum cloud is having on the marketplace and the variety of opportunity avenues available to the channel,” Carolyn April, director of industry analysis for CompTIA, said in a prepared release.

Nearly half of the surveyed firms said they plan to bump up their investment in cloud business by as much as 15 percent in the next year, given the increased cloud profits they’re seeing. That’s up from the previous year, when less than a third of IT channel companies were planning more cloud investments.

IT channel companies are the businesses responsible for getting technology products and services from manufacturers and vendors to the customer.

Their current revenue-generating cloud solutions include cloud-based email, storage, backup and recovery and business productivity applications, which are in high demand among customers and are relatively simple to deliver.

Sixty percent of the surveyed firms indicated that one possible roadblock to profiting even more from their cloud services are security concerns.

“In all likelihood, the security concerns are a function of cloud’s relative immaturity, and that as adoption increases and more demonstrable examples of cloud implementations come to bear, the apprehension over security issues will lessen,” April said.

The study also revealed that IT firms still must plan better for the integration of cloud products and services. Roughly one in five channel firms said they have either only a partial roadmap or no roadmap for their cloud business plans.

“For these firms, the next part of the process will be determining the role they will play in the cloud evolution and how they will implement steps needed to make the transition and deal with obstacles,” April said.

CompTIA’s Second Annual Trends in Cloud Computing study is the result of surveys of 400 IT firms in the United States and 500 U.S. IT and business professionals involved in IT decision-making.