Are channel partners missing a trick when it comes to cloud?

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As we increasingly see organisations embracing hybrid solutions, the channel undeniably has a pivotal role to play in terms of educating customers around cloud, especially when it comes to its security.

With cloud technology still relatively new, many organisations don’t yet have cloud security skills in house. For our customers, we often see the channel plugging this skills gap by lending an ear and a helping hand.

To get a closer view of how the channel is helping organisations’ journey to the cloud, we conducted a survey of 164 channel partners across the EMEA region. We then compared these findings with similar end user research.

While many areas tallied up, cloud was a key aspect where partners seem to be out of sync with their customers. So are partners taking full advantage of the cloud opportunity?

Are channel partners missing a trick when it comes to cloud?Click To Tweet
  • Both channel and end users agreed that organisations primarily use the cloud for backup, with 56% of end users reporting that they use the cloud primarily for data recovery.
  • Cloud’s future is bright, with 86% of partners reporting that their customers trust cloud more in the past five years, with only 8% saying there is less trust. This reiterated previous surveys where 64% of EMEA IT decision makers said their trust in public cloud has increased.
  • However, there were also clear areas of disagreement. Channel partners reported an average of 10-20% of customers’ infrastructure running on public cloud, whereas businesses themselves reported a figure closer to 35%.
  • The channel also overestimated organisations awareness of the cloud’s shared security model, with only 58% of them believing that customers didn’t understand the model, in contrary 64% of end user customers noted that they didn’t have a basic understanding of the model.
  • The biggest discrepancy was around cloud security. While 64% of end users said they have a cyber security plan, only 27% of the channel think customers have cyber security plans in place. Could it be that the organisations have outdated plans that the channel believes aren’t current? Is there an opportunity for channel partners to investigate the 64% and understand what areas are covered? This could lead to the partner becoming the organisations trusted advisor in deploying a new, state of the art, cloud aligned cyber plan. A win-win for all.

On the whole, the channel generally underestimated how much organisations are using cloud and overestimated their level of education particularly around security, suggesting that the channel is missing out on some all-too-valuable revenue opportunities.

This is more likely to be because channel partners aren't being told about it rather than them not asking, but it's worth any channel partner keeping in mind the next time they're talking to a customer about their cloud security approach. Are you really getting the full story?

Security is arguably the biggest tech challenge facing businesses today. The only chance we have of beating the cyber criminals is by the channel and organisations working hand in hand with experienced vendors to ensure every business out there has a tight knit security posture.

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