Less than a half of UK resellers are offering cloud computing solutions despite growing end user demand, research has suggested.
Distributor Computerlinks questioned 117 UK enterprises and 90 resellers in November and December in an attempt to pin down the size of the cloud opportunity for the channel.
A little over a fifth (22 per cent) of end users said they are already using cloud computing, with 38 per cent actively evaluating the benefits and 40 per cent not having taken steps to adopt.
Despite this, just 44 per cent of resellers questioned said they currently offer cloud computing.
Dave Ellis (pictured), director of new technology at Computerlinks, which is pushing into the cloud with its Alvea brand, said: "There is lots of growth here and businesses are aware of the benefits they can get from this technology wave.
"Resellers know their customers are looking at cloud computing, but a lot are not clear on how to monetise this and turn it into a business model that works for them."
Ellis said one area resellers need to look at is the pay commission structure for their staff.
"A number of partners are doing bits and pieces in cloud, but a lot do not have an overall strategy. It is important for them to motivate their sales force."
Phil Brown, director at channel marketing agency The Channel Partnership, said resellers should also examine whether the skills they have are relevant for the cloud era.
"On-site implementation becomes less important, but the ability to do the business consulting part becomes more important," he said.
Brown urged resellers to prepare now or risk losing relevance within 18 months.
"It is not surprising that a lot of resellers will not have committed to cloud computing, as the majority of money is still in traditional on-premise. But any reseller not thinking about or planning the role it will play in the cloud world is taking a huge risk.
"Some markets are moving quicker than others, but resellers need to be asking what role they should play and how quickly they should [make the] transition given the markets they operate in," Brown said.
Ellis said Computerlinks could play a cloud aggregator role through its Alvea cloud and managed services, and take out all the upfront investment for resellers.
"Ten years ago resellers would make big upfront investments before getting a return," he said.
"In this tough climate, resellers are hesitant about moving into new areas so we have tried to take out as much of the upfront cost as possible."
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