Some of your customers today may still be asking the question, “Why should I move to the cloud?” One answer is – because everybody else is. I know you’re probably thinking back to when your Mom used to say, “If your friends told you to jump off a bridge, would you?”
The simple answer in the case of the cloud: YES.
Everyone is moving to the cloud and the reason at the top of their list, and probably your customers’ number one interest in the cloud: to save money.
The second reason is that with the right supplier, they’ll have a better service than can be provided on their own. And the last reason is with the money they save, they’ll be able to drive real innovation, and begin the digital transformation of their business.
Several years ago, I was in a meeting with six CIOs of one of the largest enterprises in the world. I asked each a question as they introduced themselves: “What are you working on?” The first person was Bill and he said, “I’m working on a strategy to move to cloud.” Next I asked Mary, “What do you do?” Mary also said she was working on a strategy to move the cloud. We got through each person and every one of them had the same answer. I asked, “So what does that mean?” They collectively said, “We’re really not sure, but we’re working on it.” I wasn’t actually there that day to talk to them about cloud computing, but I said, “You know WHY you want to move to the cloud, but give me 10 to 15 minutes to help you think about what it might really mean to move to the cloud.”
I began by going through the cloud-computing framework, since coming to a common understanding, with no jargon, is the first step to begin any strategy. I told everyone in the room that we’re all using consumer application cloud services, such as Twitter, Facebook, and eBay. In addition, there have been a whole new generation of business application cloud services, such as Blackbaud, NetSuite, and Salesforce. All these applications use the original cloud––the network cloud service.
In the room with the CIOs, I went through the cloud-computing framework mentioned above rather quickly and then proceeded to show them that there are seven ways to move to the cloud.
- Move to a new network cloud service, which has lower cost and higher bandwidth.
- Move to a new data center cloud service, which has colder air, and bigger guard dogs.
- Move your application to a new compute and storage cloud service and let someone else manage the security, availability, and performance of that compute and storage.
- Move to a new software development cloud service, meaning you could re-implement that application (in the State of the Cloud chapter we discuss one example).
- Move to a new operations management cloud service to manage the security, performance, and availability of that application.
- Move to having the vendor who sold you the application manage it.
- Move to replace this application with a new generation of what we’ll call a ‘born in the cloud’ application cloud service.
A lot of this information might seem confusing if you're new to selling cloud solutions as well, so get started by learning the language and use what I said to take a strategic plan and make it a tactical one. To get even more detail, head to the Knowledge Network and watch the Moving to the Cloud module. See the State of the Cloud module on the Knowledge Network to see how small and large companies have adopted cloud services.