Over the past few months, I’ve posted two blogs discussing what I’ve identified as some of the critical success factors for delivering cloud services. But as any Hollywood executive will tell you, the only thing that’s better than a good sequel is a successful trilogy! What would the original Star Wars have been without Return of the Jedi. With that in mind, I’d like to dive back into the subject for the third installation of the series with a look at some more important success factors for cloud service delivery.
In our industry, there’s an obsession with “off the shelf” capabilities, but in reality, that’s just a myth. Surprisingly, that’s a good thing - and service providers who understand that will have an advantage. Customers say they want off the shelf - heck, that’s what we want in our personal lives - to buy a solution, plug it in and see it immediately work. Certainly, there are some areas - simpler technology, perhaps - where that's the case. But anything that has a level of technology sophistication to it is going to require some level of effort. It’s going to require an integration and a management process.
Why is that a good thing? If you think about, this process is one of the reason service providers exist. As service providers, we’re the experts in a field in which our customers probably do not have the same level of expertise. We have the infrastructure and the experience and the service programs to make our cloud services work quickly and effectively - and that’s important. Here at Embotics, we know that we are easier to install, easier to manage and can deliver a more rapid time-to-value than our competition, but there’s a distinction between that and “off the shelf.”
The other point I wanted to make today is the importance of alignment. This requires a certain level of introspection. As a service provider, you bring to that service that you provide, you bring a history, an infrastructure, a legacy, a culture, and an expertise. If you were to look at a menu of seven different options, there's probably two or three where you shine, there's two or three where you are adequate or sufficient and then maybe there's a couple areas in which you struggle. Find that area where you shine - and make sure you’re being honest with yourself.
When that’s done, it’s time to make sure that there’s an alignment with what customers are willing to pay for - and that will usually line up with a critical pain point. Align what customers in your market are willing to pay for to a value proposition where you shine and then make sure that focus is aligned throughout your entire organization: executive strategy, operational execution and customer care.
It’s not easy anticipating the needs of the market as a cloud service provider, but if you keep a running checklist of some of these success factors, you’ll find you tend to move in the right direction. And as I mentioned in my last post, this is a good time to revisit cloud and service offerings and, to spend some time figuring out how software tools and systems can help. I’d encourage you to download our Critical Success Factors checklist to increase the probability of your success.