Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) has vastly expanded in the past couple of years, Gartner reports an $11 billion increase in spending on cloud system infrastructure services in the past year alone. While many end user organisations still perceive IaaS as a colossal move from what is considered a ‘traditional IT infrastructure setup’, Apay Obang-Oyway, Director Cloud and Software, UK&I at Ingram Micro, suggests that IaaS is central to realising the intelligent future of the cloud, and the channel is ideally placed to deliver it.
Apay explains: “While SaaS provides a great deal of simplicity to business users due to its ‘all-or-nothing’ approach, in contrast, IaaS is the bridge between business and IT, where both the IT department and the business as a whole can appreciate the significant benefits of cloud, especially its scalability. For business users, they receive the reduced pricing and experience the capabilities of the cloud, while the IT department enjoys data centres with the possibility of an adaptable and accessible infrastructure on demand.”
According to market research from Vanson Bourne, commissioned by Ingram Micro Cloud, 68 per cent of enterprise and mid-market cloud end users feel it is necessary for cloud resellers to offer 24/7 continuous customer support on top of the cloud platform. In addition to this statistic, an overwhelming majority (86 per cent) of cloud resellers polled say that their organisation also manages cloud services for their clients once they have sold them the platform. With these figures in mind, the channel has already begun to realise that establishing relationships with end users is vital to protecting future profitability.
Apay continues: “IaaS is the future of cloud, and the channel has so many opportunities available to protect future profitability in this space. Confidence in selling IaaS in the channel is growing, as is understanding the potential for innovation and growth that the infrastructure can bring. The rise of next generation technologies, such as artificial intelligence, autonomous cars, and robots, will be key in helping to bring about such growth. The most recent innovations through cloud were all built on IaaS, not SaaS. The boom in cloud technology has introduced with it more transparency, meaning that resellers are increasingly focused on providing a quality service.”
He concluded: “The channel recognises that it has a role to play in providing the right customer experience to the end user. If a cloud partner provides a quality service, that will have a larger positive impact for all other cloud partners. The new channel has moved on from being traditional resellers and so the key is to provide a level of service that benefits the customer’s business, something that takes place from the moment an end user makes contact with a vendor.”
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