Cloud Computing Model Disrupts Traditional Business Thinking

The cloud computing paradigm has introduced significant changes among IT channel partners because many decision-makers are dropping their traditional business model in favor of more innovative strategies. This trend was highlighted in a recent study by CompTIA, which found that the cloud is challenging how organizations view the way they function on a basic level.

The survey polled more than 500 IT decision-makers, revealing that 45 percent of respondents said finding the best business model around cloud computing was their biggest challenge in the past year. In general, there are four distinct models to choose from: providing products for users to build themselves, offering full-fledged solutions, enabling integration services, or supporting cloud-based technologies within a contractual agreement.

"Primary business considerations depend on where a company wants to go with cloud," said Carolyn April of CompTIA. "Do they want to resell a vendor's cloud solutions? Aggregate and broker cloud services from a variety of different sources? Integrate and customize cloud-based apps and services, or simply sell the infrastructure to an end user and provide consulting? Each of these paths and more are possibilities, as are varying revenue models available for all."

Yet the ongoing need for cloud infrastructure services is also introducing some challenges because the demand for cloud technologies often exceeds the immediately available supply of solutions.

Who needs what?
The underlying fact is that enterprises around the world need the cloud. CompTIA found that approximately 63 percent of IT channel firms said their customers have either a "very high" or "high" demand for the cloud, and another 30 percent said this need was "somewhat high."

As organizations continue their pursuit of the cloud, corporate decision-makers are developing better relationships with providers and support agencies, which allow their cloud procurement and deployment processes to be more efficient. As a result, businesses are generally pleased with their cloud projects overall. This sentiment was echoed in a separate CA Technologies study, which revealed that 98 percent of cloud users said the hosted services are exceeding their initial expectations.

The cloud has an inherent disruptive nature to it because the solutions and underlying philosophies are challenging the way companies around the world view and carry out operations. As channel partners evolve alongside the cloud to meet the demand of their customers, the business world as a whole will transform and become more productive, efficient, and secure—all without causing too much mayhem in the process.

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