Nearly half of the IT channel firms surveyed in a new study plan to up their investment in the cloud in the next year by between 10 and 15 percent. Last year, less than a third said they would increase their investment to that degree.

The research, conducted by non-profit IT trade association CompTIA, shows that 46 percent of companies surveyed report deriving 50 percent or more of their annual revenue from cloud-related products and services in the last 12 months. The majority of those companies (85 percent) expect cloud sales to grow in the next year and will increase investment based on that anticipation.

CompTIA’s Second Annual Trends in Cloud Computing study—which surveys 400 IT firms in the U.S. and 500 more business professionals involved in IT decision-making—classifies revenue-generating cloud solutions for channel companies as “low-hanging fruit”—including cloud-based email, storage, backup and recovery and business productivity applications—because of the simplicity of delivering them and the high demand by customers for them.

Other data from the study includes:

  • Six in 10 channel companies with $20 million or more in annual revenue got revenue from mobile application development as a result of their cloud-based sales.
  • Four in 10 respondents said they made money from cloud integration work in the last 12 months.
  • Eight in 10 value-added resellers (VARs) got post-sale integration business from cloud last year.

The CompTIA study also sends up a red flag about preparedness, noting that one in five channel firms said they have either a partial roadmap or no roadmap for their cloud business plans.