Cloud Needs to be Sold in Terms of What it Does
“Cloud needs to be sold in terms of what it does, not what it is.” So began a recent blog by John Wilcox on the Business Cloud 9 website. [Practical Cloud use fuels mainstream adoption, http://www.businesscloud9.com/content/practical-cloud-use-fuels-mainstream-adoption/5005]
It’s a very salient point. There is a lot of information focused on how great the Cloud is because of the technology it employs. And there is no doubt that some very fancy things are happening in the background to make the Cloud work. But that’s not the point, is it? Adoption of Cloud technologies will be based on what they do and how that helps your business.
According to the article, a Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) poll found that 94% of respondents were happy with the Cloud services they have invested in. Interestingly, 53% stated that the primary driver in adopting Cloud based services was flexibility, rather than cost saving.
The main points of the article are as follows:
Most adopters of Cloud services would invest further based on the cost benefit
There are high satisfaction levels among Cloud adopters
There is less adoption at the lower, smaller company end of the market
Companies are more interested in the practical use of Cloud rather than the technology itself
Take the first and last points particularly;
Cloud based services have to work and they need to provide benefit. They need to make everyday work quicker, save time and/or money, provide security of data, allow access from multiple locations - in short, provide tangible benefits to a business. It boils down to the service that is being provided and it’s reliability, rather than the technology behind that service provision.
Additionally, businesses that adopt Cloud based services are likely to further invest in such services. They wouldn’t do that unless they were seeing real benefit.
Interestingly, the CIF poll found there was less adoption of Cloud based services in smaller companies and the public sector. There is a natural reticence in the public sector to jump onto new technologies bandwagon, so that side of things is understandable. However, my personal feeling is that it is smaller companies that would benefit most from utilising the Cloud. The subscription based nature of Cloud services that allow businesses to pay only for what they need allows smaller companies access to services and technologies that were historically the preserve of enterprise companies without the need for large capital investments.
I fact I worked out recently that a startup business could have a web based CRM and accounts package, managed email and online backup for £33/month plus VAT per user. Who cares what technology is behind those services - that’s enough to run a business for a cup of coffee a day!
So the next time someone waxes eloquent about the ‘Cloud’, ask them what it does.