With Cloud becoming the new normal, it has crossed the abyss and now nearly 80% enterprises are either deploying or completely embracing the cloud. The ‘not interested’ section has considerably gone down from 21% in 2014 to 8% in 2016, as per IDC CloudView survey, shown in the graphics below.
Thus, the cloud is in its actual ‘adoption phase’ today.
This huge cloud adoption presents a massive opportunity in the cloud. Thus, there has been an increase in the number of service providers selling cloud services, but there are few things that separate a successful cloud service provider from an average one.
We conducted an in-house research on few cloud providers who are at the extreme ends of success spectrum and have come up with these insights:
The ‘early adapter’ advantage: One can never learn swimming by sitting at the edge and observing. Similarly, many cloud solution providers (CSPs) wait for their customers to accept a technology first and then only start investing in it. But, successful CSPs are those who dive in right away.
Majority of organizations are now making an investment in digital transformation technologies, like the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, robotics, cognitive systems, nanotechnology, augmented and virtual reality and more, so, to be successful, it’s important that you adapt and become relevant to your customer base by delivering the relevant IT resources that these new technologies demand.
The smartness to mature with cloud: For early moving CSPs, providing SaaS solutions or migrating companies into cloud was the main entry point to begin business at one point of time. But with time, these become technological islands.
So, successful CSPs, to gain more and be valuable in the long run, did more planning, provided support and management services to help digitally transform organizations in the real sense, so their cloud deployments are beneficial to organizations and they’re still profitable and getting recurring business.
So for becoming a successful CSP, rather than beating around the bush with legacy cloud services, one needs to ramp up his efforts and show maturity to change per the dynamic customer requirements.
LoBs are the decisive factor in buying now: The decision makers are now not only in the IT department but also down the line of business (LoB). The control and spending power that IT departments had till few years back, part of it has now shifted to the business units.
Thus, the cloud service providers who started understanding the language of their customers and provided them with customized cloud solutions to provide specific business outcomes are more successful today.
To be a successful CSP, one needs to provide solutions and processes that facilitate collaboration as with this change, organizations have become more employee and customer focused. Thus, becoming customer-centric is the key here. Provide bundled solutions, even of different vendors, to cater to the customer specific needs.
As per an IDC survey, LoB funds nearly 61% technology projects, while 81% are being influenced by it.
Focus on winning relationships, not customers: Those who are really successful in their business not only offer great service, of course, that’s a big differentiator, but they actually focus on providing the solution to their customer’s problems. They not just focus on winning deals and getting business, but they focus on being the problem solver.
So, to be a successful CSP, you need to understand that getting customers is indeed tough, but maintaining that relationship is even tougher. If you lose a customer, you lose the entire ecosystem that comes with that customer. Good relationships are important for building your brand and winning customers for life.
Accept automation and platformization: Those who adopt business process automation tools for operational processes minimize errors associated with human intervention and see a direct impact on the performance of their business with improved, streamlined and coordinated workflow. Standard tools and platforms facilitate innovation and provide better experience to internal as well as external system users.
By 2018, 45% of CIOs will focus on platformization, using DevOps for rapid development, cost reduction, and enterprise agility – IDC FutureScape.
To be a self-managed organization, self-healing and self-learning are crucial and platformization plays a key role in that as it allows one to quickly experiment, test, collaborate and scale rapidly beyond departments or ecosystems. It also helps it to achieve agility with security and cost reduction. Thus, to be a successful CSP, consider a cloud service delivery and business automation platform today.
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