We've reached a point where consumers are using hosted applications daily and businesses have at least some non-critical applications hosted in the cloud.
However, businesses are not yet moving core services to the cloud, as services providers, cloud aggregators and other channel players are seeing.
The biggest barrier is the lack of security and end-to-end SLAs. Few integrators and service providers are able to translate the business case for cloud adoption into secure and profitable offerings.
A lot of people have been jumping on the bandwagon, giving little thought to overcoming these barriers.
Security concerns are based on regulation and hard data, without which a business would not survive, as well as on competitive advantage.
A lot of focus has been placed on shaping business models to address some of these security issues, but the underlying technology used to transport, host and store critical data must be sorted out.
The technology challenge is in legacy networks and in a lack of innovation. Currently, critical data has to pass the non-secure side of an organisation's firewall to access the cloud.
Getting CIOs and IT directors to willingly place critical data on the other side of their firewalls isn't a battle worth fighting.
However, critical data never needs to pass outside an end-user firewall.
Cloud aggregators can provide a seamless end-to-end SLA covering connectivity, access and services that include voice, data and cloud.
This is the only way to overcome the barriers to cloud adoption. Cloud aggregators can also work with channel partners.
There is no reason for resellers and integrators to see cloud computing as the end of their current business models.
The channel players with a future in the age of cloud computing will be the ones with the right technology underpinning their services, and the right relationships with aggregators and service providers.
Dave Joplin is head of indirect channel at Exponential-e
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