The field of technology sales is undergoing a seismic shift. Businesses large and small are warming to the promise of services offered by cloud vendors that can suit their needs in a way that seems infinitely elastic.
Although most businesses are still in the formative stages of adopting the cloud, Australia is well ahead of Asia Pacific peers. 1 Indeed, this year, businesses are expected to spend 27% of IT budget on cloud services, 2 and 70% on legacy system maintenance. 3 It’s no wonder why IT partners are being encouraged to structure offerings ‘as a service’ rather than ‘as a sale’, but the pressure is now on for IT partners to carry upfront investment to build the infrastructure needed to service customers.
Demand for IT as a service is also being driven by tech-savvy business heads who want to buy ‘business outcomes’ (such as an end-to-end marketing process) rather than software and servers of a particular spec. This changes the sales process significantly and puts the focus on drawing together all parts of a solution into one business service.
Avoiding cloud turbulence
The clear benefits of cloud services mean they’re here to stay. Elastic capacity, faster speed to market and potentially lower costs are unassailable drawcards. But how can you best help your customer understand the wider considerations for achieving cloud success?
Firstly, IT fundamentals certainly don’t disappear with cloud. Professional services are still very much needed, whether for data migration, integration with legacy systems, staff training, or security validation. Standard cloud offerings don’t usually cover these implementation costs and companies may find they face unexpectedly high costs to bring cloud into production.
According to IDC, organisations considering cloud implementations are focused on reducing IT budgets, but that cloud doesn’t guarantee this – in fact, IDC says, it’s essential to look at all the options in combination to achieve the benefits. Combinations of public, private and hybrid cloud platforms may deliver your customer’s requirements in the most cost effective way. In instances where cost is a focus, financing, leasing and asset lifecycle management services can be powerful tools to integrate into your overall proposal.
1 Excluding Japan. IDC Market Analysis Perspective: Australia Cloud Services 2015-19 M
2 IDC Worldwide Cloud Black Book, Q4 2012; April 2013, IDC #240634
3 Cloud Investments Will Reconfigure Future IT Budgets, Forrester Research, Inc., 8 January 2013
4 IDC Market Analysis Perspective: Australia Cloud Services 2015-19
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