News | February 10, 2014

CompTIA: Cloud Computing Poses New Financial, Technological Challenges For IT Distributors

New whitepaper examines “The Role of IT Distribution in a Cloud World”

Cloud computing is at the heart of one of the biggest transformations ever in the distribution chain that brings information technology (IT) products and services from suppliers to customers, according to a new whitepaper released recently by CompTIA, the leading non-profit association for the IT industry.

The impact of cloud computing is being felt in particular by the “middlemen” in the IT product and service channel – the IT distributors.

“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, industry analysis, CompTIA. “From a distributor’s point of view, this makes the technology more difficult to move through a supply chain – to ‘pick, pack and ship.’

“As if these transactions weren’t challenging enough, distributors must also contend with the ongoing disintegration of traditional product categories, which adds a layer of uncertainty to technology development,” April added.

In the new whitepaper, The Role of IT Distribution in a Cloud World, CompTIA details some of the steps distributors have taken to expand their relevance in the cloud market. These moves include acquisitions of companies to strengthen their cloud business lines; and the creation of new logistical capabilities built specifically for cloud resellers and providers.

The market upheaval caused by cloud computing is likely to result in the need for a new type of provider – one that can aggregate multivendor technologies at scale across both physical and virtual boundaries to deliver secure and reliable solutions to meet customers’ business, technology and regulatory needs.

“For the past 20 years, no one type of company has done that better than the industry’s wholesale distributors,” April noted. ”If they play their cards right, they could position themselves as the nexus of cloud computing.”

The latest CompTIA research on the cloud market finds that channel partners plan to use distributor cloud services in several ways:

  • 57 percent – Technical support for cloud solutions
  • 35 percent – Aggregation of cloud services
  • 35 percent – Data center accessibility and hosting services
  • 33 percent – Vetting and evaluating cloud service providers or solutions
  • 25 percent – Relationship brokering with other providers of cloud solutions

The whitepaper on The Role of IT Distribution in a Cloud World and all CompTIA research are examples of how the association re-invests resources in the IT channel to help IT businesses expand and grow. The whitepaper is available at no cost to CompTIA members. For more information, visit

About CompTIA
CompTIA is the voice of the world’s information technology (IT) industry. Its members are the companies at the forefront of innovation; and the professionals responsible for maximizing the benefits organizations receive from their investments in technology. CompTIA is dedicated to advancing industry growth through educational programs, market research, networking events, professional certifications and public policy advocacy. For more information, visit