The multi-cloud future; channel opportunities are there for the taking

Since the dawn of cloud, customers have spent hours, days and weeks deciding which cloud environment is right for them and their IT estate. The channel has been an intrinsic part of this evaluation, with partners supporting their customers and helping them make the right decision for their own specific needs.  

Today, cloud is not only a mature technology, but it’s an interoperable one as well. Organisations use multiple clouds for different applications and workloads, selecting best of breed vendors to fit their needs. This multi-cloud approach is fast becoming the norm. We recently surveyed over 500 technology buyers from the UK, and almost two thirds (62%) are actively using multi-cloud environments today. A further 23% are either transitioning to multi-cloud or exploring the possibility of multi-cloud in future.  

Although there are a number of organisations that do use a single cloud provider, a staggering 65% of organisations say that their use of multi-cloud will increase in the next two years, representing a huge opportunity for the channel. Mixing and matching workloads to the right cloud environments can bring benefits, but also brings more complexity, with integration into other applications and a greater number of endpoints to secure. Around a third (31%) of IT decision makers said that they were concerned about securing their multi-cloud environments, and 27% understood that multi-cloud would make their estates considerably more complex. 

So what does this mean for the channel? How do channel partners adapt to address these market dynamics? Partners can provide invaluable experience and value to customers, helping to tame their multi-cloud environments. By getting to know a customer’s infrastructure, helping them to choose the right vendors and giving good consultancy, channel partners can not only help customers transition to multi-cloud effectively, but build both long-term relationships and long-term margin, in particular by adding complementary support and consultancy services.  

We’re at a key inflection point and the time to act is now. Three quarters of respondents stated they need more support and expertise, with only a quarter of organisations see multi-cloud as ‘plain sailing’. Around half (46%) are ‘getting there, one step at a time’, with a fifth (20%) admitting that if multi-cloud was a relationship status, theirs would be ‘it’s complicated’.  

But whether your customer is a mature multi-cloud user or just starting down the road, it’s almost certainly a journey that they won’t diverge from, and as their complexity grows, so will a desire to seek help from channel partners. The benefits of multi-cloud are well understood: in our poll of over five hundred customers, only one believed that there were no benefits to multi-cloud. Everyone else knew that using the right cloud for the job could give you better flexibility, better portability, lower risk and better cost-effectiveness.  

And with those kinds of benefits on offer, it’s quite clear that we’re going to be living in a multi-cloud future, and the channel opportunities are there for the taking.  

Partner Program Manager | + posts

Partner Program Manager