The industry has always needed marketing buzzwords to cling onto and this year - just as last - that buzzword is cloud.
But to what extent cloud is just a repackaged version of terms that have been in existence for years (ASP, hosted, SaaS anyone?) is a moot point.
Undoubtedly, momentum is gathering behind cloud both at an end-user level and among vendors and the channel. Nearly all the major manufacturers are explicitly referencing the term in their quarterly results now and Microsoft has even begun tentatively marketing the concept to consumers.
And HP became the latest vendor to lay its cards on the table by unveiling its Enterprise Cloud Services Compute (ECSC) vision earlier this week.
According to research from distributor Computerlinks, 22 per cent of UK end users are already using cloud with a further 38 per cent actively evaluating its benefits.
Computerlinks also found that 44 per cent of VARs currently offer cloud computing. That is backed up by our poll this week, with a plurality of voters (37 per cent) professing to already selling cloud and a further 22 per cent predicting they will sell cloud soon. Just two per cent of you said you had no plans to move into cloud solutions.
(By the by, cloud was the third most popular category on ChannelWeb last week, trailing only ‘vendor' and ‘event').
But for every person espousing the virtues of cloud, you'll be sure to find a sceptic.
The boss of one distie I spoke to turned the air blue with his fury on the subject, dismissing the term as "bulls**t".
Indeed, it is interesting to note that the same CRN poll quoted above reveals a sizeable underbelly of scepticism, with 33 per cent of you declaring cloud to be a "meaningless term". This demonstrates there is certainly a fair bit of opposition to cloud's coronation as the IT channel's undisputed saviour.
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