Hi. I’m back with more cloud industry information that supports what other analyst firms like Gartner and IDC are saying about the potential for business and cloud profitability.

The ten stats I’m highlighting for you below come from the Cloud & Technology Transformation Alliance (CTTA), a jointly administered venture of The 2112 Group and Channel Partners magazine. This year their annual cloud study produced some thought-provoking results that reinforce our view on the opportunity.
The report is based on the 229 solution providers, value-added resellers, systems integrators, managed service providers, telephony agents, and master agents who responded during the period from December 2011 through January 2012 and named Microsoft the #1 Vendor to Partner with in the Cloud.
Here’s a look at what these solution providers are saying:
  • 20.4 percent found their demand for online email fell between 2010 and 2011. However, it falls behind the demand for backup and storage.
  • 39.5 percent say finding the right IT talent is the biggest obstacle to entering the cloud market.
  • 62.5 percent have lost prospects because they couldn’t fulfill customers’ cloud needs. 
  • 28.2 percent have lost opportunities to competitors who offer cloud computing directly.
  • 3 percent don’t currently offer cloud services and don’t plan to in 2012.
  • 39.9 percent say their cloud solutions are developing and not yet market ready.
  • 44 percent say channel conflict between providers and vendors is moderate.
  • Most agree that two to three meetings are required before clients fully understand what a public or hybrid cloud is. Then the real sales efforts begin.
  • One-half of providers surveyed earned 10 percent or less of their gross profits from cloud services in 2010 and 2011.
  • One-third expect to earn 11–25 percent  of their gross profits from cloud computing products in 2012.
So what’s the key take-away? Cloud services opportunities are growing at an incredible pace. Check out the recent Microsoft News Center article, “Cloud Computing to Create 14 Million New Jobs by 2015.”
Microsoft sees the cloud as a long-term industry transition analogous to the way that client/server computing was a transition from the mainframe era, although a very new business model paradigm. The cloud offers tremendous benefits to current and potential customers and represents a significant opportunity for partners as well.
Adding cloud practices will require much more planning than adding a product or service. Microsoft is helping partners move their customers to the cloud by providing workshops and tools to analyze the benefits of making the shift.
As the solution providers noted, finding the right team to take you there can be a challenge, but the payoff promises to be worth it. Together we can help enable our mutual customers to take advantage of the power and economy of cloud based solutions.
To find the source for the 10 stats above, read this post for more information. Interested in the full report? Download the white paper​.