Switching focus – what cloud technology can really do for your business

Selling the ingredients to bake a cake without the instructions on how to make it is a disaster looking for a place to happen.  This is the way most cloud solutions are sold at present.   The way forward for cloud providers is to no longer sell the agility and improvements which are naturally inherent in the system.   Cloud providers have to start selling the benefits of the cloud computing phenomena explaining that changes to the actual business culture within the business and how these changes will impact the business as a whole.

The muddying of the waters and increased sales hype in regards to cloud computing is being helped by the increase in vendors, and those vendors trying to become established before the money runs out.   One of the larger problems is there is a lack of business understanding at the provider level.

Not all technology adoption is driven by money, not just the initial cost anyway.   The overall impact on the bottom line is critical for any business.   You have to prove that the adoption of any new technology is going to make business better, faster, easier and / or save money.   In other words real benefits is what management is looking for.

The cloud is a strategic benefit to a business and the new wave of sales people have to understand that.   Without a knowledge of the strategic benefits to a business, sales of the cloud product for the provider will start to dry up.   When predicted savings and improvements do not materialize the backlash could be substantial.

So agile ICT is the direction that all businesses will go in the future but the sales process will be different depending on the target.   Small and medium business are normally more agile and will implement and adopt new technology at a faster rate.  They also do not have the legacy systems and infrastructure to slow down the adoption process.

In contrast, larger organisations will concede that the adoption process is the driving force behind the move to a cloud infrastructure.   They will see the cost savings from the hardware and software and moving to a operational expense from a capital expense but a botched adoption process will radically endanger the business and could cost the CIO / CTO his job.

By becoming the trusted adviser to the business, the cloud provider is becoming the main point of contact with all changes to technology and the benefits that the new technology can bring to the business.   This is great for both parties but it is more focused on a deep seeded working relationship than getting instant sales through the quarterly figures.

The buyer will see the benefits of a properly thought through cloud implementation for their business.   It should deliver better business outcomes and improved benefits to their clients.   Without that Return On Investment (ROI) there should or would be no reason to implement a cloud infrastructure change.

Embracing a cloud solutions is a major change in mindset.   There is no longer a focus on hardware and software within a business.   It is a change in the way you do business and that can make or break an organisation.

So forget the cloud solution hype and think through the solution, get the best advice that is available and make sure that it applies to YOUR business not someone else’s.   From both a provider and client point of view the relationship is everything.

Roger Smith, is an educator. Teaching students at ADFA (UNSW) and showing them how vulnerable they are to cybercrime.

He is also CEO at R & I ICT Consulting Services Pty Ltd, an Amazon #1 author on Cybercrime and founder of the SME Security Framework. He is a Consultant who specialises in inexpensive and highly effective security strategies for small and medium businesses and not for profit organisations.

He has developed and authored the SME Security Framework and the Security Policy Training Course which are considered to be the definitive guides to helping SME's protect their organisation using the principles of Technology, Management, Adaptability and Compliance.

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