How To Make Cloud Solutions Part Of Your Business Strategy
With 70 per cent of businesses running at least one application in the cloud, and 16 per cent planning to do so this year, your clients are on a shared journey to the cloud.
Whether they’re a small business or a large enterprise, they’re embracing cloud technologies in a bid to increase flexibility, reduce management costs and replace capital outlay with more manageable operational expenditure.
Cloud revenues are already worth more than $5 billion in annual spend in Australia. While many resellers understand the need to address this market and adapt to compete, shifting the organisational mindset and committing to a change in business strategy can be a major challenge. Leveraging the capabilities of distribution and vendor programs will help you break through this resistance barrier and develop new revenue streams.
The shift to cloud presents massive opportunities to expand your services based on your areas of expertise. Here are three of the biggest cloud opportunities for resellers:
The migration process is often overlooked in detail during the sales process, but it has a huge impact on the ultimate success of a project for a client, as well as the Total Cost of Ownership. With cloud growth over the next three years being driven by the movement of existing workloads and data, competence and excellence in migration delivery will stand out.
Selling cloud is about providing a complete solution. This has shifted migration from being part of a post-sale discussion to becoming a key element of enablement. Your customers want to know how they’ll get their applications, services and data onto a new environment.
Migrations are also seldom delivered in perfect conditions, requiring expertise in tooling, planning and delivery to minimise business disruption, outage and loss of data over time.
These factors create a significant services opportunity for resellers to develop migration expertise in house or partner strategically with organisations that have developed these practices. Migration services are an essential part of any cloud offering and can be dynamic in scope, delivering enduring value.
Security & Backup
Security is consistently the biggest concern for IT and business professionals alike. Despite these concerns, 82 per cent of IT managers report a lack of cyber security skills. Most businesses don’t have the in-house expertise to develop a strategy for securing data in the cloud, so they’ll appreciate your guidance.
When you review customers’ cloud security strategy, it’s important to make sure your solution aligns with their larger business goals while alleviating their risk management concerns. There are lots of moving parts to consider, from ‘Shadow IT’ deployments that can compromise security to user access rights. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution – a layered defence is crucial to reduce the risk of data breaches and help to mitigate the damage in case of a compromise.
Positioning your business as a trusted advisor in backup and disaster recovery, or offering value-added services like testing offsite backup reliability, will strengthen client relationships while delivering higher profit margins.
Research shows that the number one cloud challenge for organisations is a lack of resources and expertise. Your business can fill this gap by developing cloud solutions that include ongoing support and training, taking on the role of a managed services provider.
The channel partners that succeed in the cloud will be those that address the specific needs and priorities of each customer. Research firm IDC predicts mature cloud solutions will be vertically or functionally focused, including market-specific add-on products that are customised for different needs.
A move to the cloud doesn’t just mean selling cloud products on top of your traditional hardware and software packages. It means rethinking the way your business approaches customers – delivering strategic bundles to solve specific business problems. As IDC suggests: “The real value comes from IP or expertise in an industry, vertical or business process.”
Cloud opens a new world of possibilities for your business but you need to move fast. Our recent Voice of the Customer survey shows that 49 per cent of channel partners are implementing plans to substantially increase cloud sales within the next two years. By taking advantage of these new opportunities and adding cloud services to your strategy this year, you can stay one step ahead of the competition. More importantly, you’ll be delivering the solutions your customers are looking for.
Download our ‘Cloud in the Channel’ report to learn how cloud-focused resellers have significantly increased revenue.