Cloud computing has no doubt made accessing software and services easier for users, but the reality is that it might just leave resellers and distributors out in the cold. A new whitepaper titled “The Role of IT Distribution in a Cloud World,” released by CompTIA (News - Alert), which calls itself “the voice of IT industry”, focuses on the challenges that cloud computing will pose to distributors.
With cloud computing, business and IT can create and deliver value, hardware and software over the Internet, but when software service providers begin to deal directly with cloud providers, where does that leave the distributors? The supply chain eliminates resellers or distributors, who have typically been the middlemen that have sold services to customers.
"Unlike traditional IT products with clearly defined architectures and feature sets, cloud computing technology is by design more virtual and decentralized in nature," said Carolyn April, director of industry analysis at CompTIA, underscoring why it was more difficult to move the technology through the regular supply chain.
So will distributors become redundant?
CompTIA allays their fears because the latest research on the cloud market shows that channel partners plan to use distributor services for technical support for cloud solutions, aggregation of cloud service, data center accessibility and hosting services, and evaluating cloud service providers or solutions. Distributors can hence still remain relevant by realigning their skills to suit the present needs.
"For the past 20 years, no one type of company has done that better than the industry's wholesale distributors," April noted, adding, "If they play their cards right, they could position themselves as the nexus of cloud computing."
By re-positioning themselves as experts on the cloud, distributors can make the transition to becoming middlemen for new products and services in the cloud. It's not going to be easy to get a foothold there for they have to face new competition, but that's the only way that they are going to remain relevant in today's cloud computing world.Distributors do have a place and will always have one, provided they're willing to reinvent themselves, be open to educating themselves and willing to acquire new skills that will serve them in an ever-evolving landscape.
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