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Can the channel ride the second cloud wave?

James Henderson | July 3, 2017
This ARN roundtable outlined the new technologies coming to play and the strategies required for ongoing success.

“Our customers across the country are at various stages of their cloud lifecycle,” Staples regional sales manager — technology solutions Steve Rutter added. “Some of our customers have, from a back-end perspective, been in the cloud for four years but for many the total cost of ownership is not there. At this stage, our customers are pursuing hybrid cloud strategies.”

The range of solutions and services available that interconnect private and public clouds as well as bridging between multiple public clouds has enabled enterprises to adopt solutions based on hybrid cloud architectures.

Consequently, the increased adoption of hybrid cloud to facilitate digital transformation agendas is widely expected to further positively impact the growth of cloud services in Australia.

“Three years ago the conversations were very different with customers compared to today,” Zerto country manager A/NZ Matthew Kates recalled. “The thinking wasn’t well developed around needing to build hybrid cloud strategies. The market was still thinking through an on-premise only, box dropping type mindset.

“But the shift has been dramatic and every conversation I have today, from small customers up to the enterprise, and certainly with every channel partner, is around how do we build a roadmap to enable multi- platform hybrid cloud infrastructure.”

Kates’ observations of the local market align with commonly held analyst beliefs, beliefs that centre on the belief that by 2020, a corporate “no-cloud” policy will be as rare as a “no-internet” policy is today.

According to Gartner, cloud-first, and even cloud-only, is replacing the defensive no-cloud stance that dominated many large providers in recent years, changing the dynamics in the channel as a consequence.

“There was an initial rush to the public cloud but now there’s a realisation that going public doesn’t tick every box,” VMtech national sales manager James Ormesher acknowledged. “Businesses still need to look at resiliency and where workloads are residing, which means that hybrid cloud is the preferred approach.

“When we speak to our customers, we examine where the applications are and where they are going to reside, with the Software- as-a-Service (SaaS) element coming into play.

“But it’s still confusing for the customer because they are no longer examining one or two offerings, which represents a big opportunity for the channel to help them make sense of the solutions available.”

Data is King

Yet choice isn’t the only challenge impacting end-users. In a world where security breaches at large corporations dominate the headlines, the ambiguity that surrounds cloud computing can make securing the enterprise seem daunting.

Delving deeper into the wider notion of security, and considering the growing importance of information, the challenge also exists in the effective back-up and recovery of information data, billed as the new oil of the digital economy.


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