In IT, we love to talk about winners and losers. In that area (and that area alone), the cloud has been a huge disappointment. There are definitely some big winners but so far no real losers. The cloud community has been like youth sports. “We’re all winners.”
Some will point to high profile withdrawals from the public cloud fight or major strategy changes. That is true. There have been some wounds along the way but we are yet to witness a VHS vs. Betamax death match.
That may be about to change. Martin McCarthy, CEO of 451 Research said what many are thinking. After delivering all the standard eye popping cloud growth forecasts at Hosting + Cloud Transformation Summit in Las Vegas last month, he warned his audience of Service Providers and Investors that the biggest change he sees is that the “rising tide will not raise all boats.”
It is a sobering thought to an industry that has been primarily healthy. Some service providers are challenged by slower growth but they are still growing. They are concerned about protecting product margin with declining prices but there is still margin to protect. Consultants and service providers alike are struggling to help their customers build the bridge from on-premises to off-premises to public cloud but they still have customers...For now.
It is now more important than ever for service providers to revisit their cloud and related service offerings.
In our invitation to the October 27th webinar Critical Success Factors for Service Providers, we put it this way … How Service Providers respond to the rapidly changing cloud marketplace will be an important factor to their future success. Cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) is quickly gaining acceptance as an alternative to on premise hardware for production workloads. Traditional Managed Services Providers are looking to provide IaaS, both public and private to ensure that they retain their clients. Co-location and IaaS providers who specialize in “white glove treatment,” find their customers asking for a more public cloud-like experience with rapid provisioning and self-service capabilities.
So, what is going to determine the winners and losers and how do you know you’re on the right path? Here are some suggestions:
Strategy alignment – Where do you shine? What are customers willing to pay a reasonable fee for you to do? Find that focus and make sure the company is aligned from executive strategy through execution and customer care.
Inform your customers – You are expert in your field. Customers are leaning on that expertise. Don’t simply guess what you think they are going to want but make a technology bet and take them there. You say you want to be a partner, not a vendor. Act like it.
Tools selection and Integration – In this software defined world, where can you automate? This will cut operating cost and reduce human error. Make sure the tools you select specialize in the features that are most important to your strategy.
Operating discipline – Define and train to operating standards that ensure successful delivery of your premium strategy. When selecting tools or 3rd party services, integrate them as part of the operating process, not one-offs.
To find out more on the lessons I learned while helping a national IT infrastructure provider grow its cloud business from inception to significant success, Join me on the webinar on October 27th.