Cloud is top driver of channel partner use, says Equinix study

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Cost-effectiveness is the main reason enterprises work with channel partners

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12 November 2019 | 0

Cloud is the number one driver of channel engagement in Ireland, according to research from Equinix. The global interconnection and data centre company found that 45% of IT decision-makers use the channel to access cloud-based services.

The study surveyed 836 IT decision-makers from enterprises across eight EMEA countries (UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Ireland, Finland, Turkey and the UAE), including 103 across Ireland-based enterprises and was conducted online between 1 and 16 August 2019.

Aside from the cloud-driven shift, Equinix identified other areas where traditionally in-house managed services are now moving to the channel. In the past, enterprises have been reluctant to outsource security management; now it is the second highest ranked (35%) service that channel partners are using. Plus, 34% of Irish decision-makers are using channel partners to access interconnection.

Cost is the main factor that enterprise IT decision-makers consider before choosing to work with a channel partner. In fact, 59% of Irish respondents would work with a channel partner because it is a cost-effective route to market. Convenience was the second major consideration at 51%, followed by access to a superior range of services at 38%.

The survey also found that, on average, European enterprise IT decision-makers spent 24% of their budget with the channel. The average Irish respondent spent 20% of their IT budget via partners.

Room to improve

While 38% of EMEA respondents said that channel partners have room to improve in providing seamless solutions that are easily implemented without disruption to enterprises, this need will only grow with the expansion and complexity of enterprise infrastructure.

Plus, 37% of Irish respondents said that channel partners are missing the necessary support structure to develop knowledge of a product or service. While, 32% expressed a desire for a clearer sales process.

The research also highlighted that 85% of Ireland-based
IT decision-makers consider interconnection to be important to their business.

“The move to the cloud has been incredibly exciting to see,” said Oren Yehudai, senior director, EMEA channel sales, Equinix. “By 2021, European spend on cloud will hit £100 billion. Enterprises must make critical decisions on IT infrastructure as they adopt cloud services or fail to compete in the digital economy.

“The speed of demand and consumption of cloud services is both a huge opportunity and a threat for many resellers. Channel players have to be ready to support this, and for many that means making significant changes, from accelerating the development of consulting and ‘cloud-complementing’ services to adapting to a monthly billing system or changing compensation plans to match new purchasing patterns.”

Kevin O’Connor, channel manager Ireland, Equinix said: “Analyst firm IDC has stated that at least 30% of Channel industry players will not exist in the format we know them today by 2021. As the findings of this study suggest, many of these changes will be driven by cloud, and it will be the Channel players that are agile and respond to these changes, that will survive and thrive. It’s vital they provide cost-effective, convenient and varied services to help Irish organisations interconnect and innovate.”

According to Gartner, 80% of enterprises will entirely migrate away from on-premises infrastructure to colocation and the cloud by 2025. As such, these findings suggest that companies are using the channel to reduce complexity of such a critical infrastructure upheaval.

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