The growth of cloud computing is making it easier for SMB channel partners to provide a broader range of offerings on a 24/7 basis at a lower cost and with fewer IT staff that could lead to more than 200,000 IT jobs over the next decade, according to a study by market intelligence firm AMI Partners.
AMI Partners said that the diminishing job prospects for IT professionals is making many new types of players to enter the market. Some of these players are likely to offer various services directly to SMBs. In other cases, vendors and distributors are likely to make it easier for the smaller SMB channel partners to offer cloud-based services by acting as aggregators and master MSPs.
The firm said the uncertainity in IT industry will force SMB channel partners to play a critical role in bringing cloud-based services to SMBs in the early years. However, as large companies scale up cloud-based offerings in coming years, they will make greater use of automation, reducing the need for IT staff employed by local channel partners.
Anil Miglani, SVP of IT infrastructure research at AMI-Partners, said: "The great recession of the last year and a half has significantly increased SMBs’ interest in adopting various cloud-based services as they look for ways to meet their IT needs while keeping costs under control.
"However, cloud computing cuts two ways for small SMB channel partners. It allows them to offer new kinds of services and solutions to their SMB customers without having to incur high initial capital expenditures. But automated service delivery via the cloud will also reduce the need for internal IT staff."