It's that time of year when we reflect back on the past year and look to want we want from the year ahead. While 2016 brought cloud further into enterprise applications, infrastructure and data, there are still VARs and IT solution providers who think that cloud won’t impact their business.
Unfortunately, things like flexibility, scalability, and moving from capital expenditures to operating expenditures are enticing customers to take the journey to the cloud with or without their Trusted Advisors.
With that said, I believe 2017 will see cloud computing rise to new heights, despite the general reluctance of the VAR and Solution Provider community to fully grasp the dramatic changes unfolding in front of them.
If you’ve made the decision to sit on the sidelines and wait out what is arguably the most dramatic shift in how customers consume IT services, best of luck.
For those of you who are looking to get into the game and ensure you’re positioned to grab a profitable slice of the projected $33B in public cloud services that will be available within the North American marketplace, I applaud you!
You can bet that it’ll be a tough, yet rewarding journey as you assess your readiness and map out your plan to cross the chasm from transaction-based business to steady month-over-month increases in recurring revenue. But, over time, it will culminate in a more balanced and healthier business model.
To begin, or even extend your journey to the cloud, it’s imperative that you frame-up your 2017 cloud resolutions and assess your current business readiness. The goal is to ensure you are positioned to successfully create cloud services capabilities that will drive steady increases in recurring revenue.
More importantly, it’s vital that you don’t waiver on your commitment to building an impactful and profitable cloud practice—all the obstacles and gaps that exist can be overcome.
So, let’s look at what I believe is a solid list of 2017 Cloud Resolutions—please repeat after me, I resolve to:
- Truly understand my business readiness to enter the cloud services marketplace.
- Acknowledge the gaps that exist in my current business, sales, and operating models.
- Perform the work necessary to close those gaps and position my business for success.
- Price and package cloud solutions that generate the gross margins required to meet my financials.
- Work with partners that are vested in my success and will support my transformation over the long-haul.
Of course, it’s all about applying the same pig-headed determination to succeed that you applied in starting and growing your business, plus the laser-focus required to keep executing against your plan and pivot when necessary.
Also, remember this may be the most critical transition and transformation that you may ever make. So, understand that ‘slow and steady’ is the proper prescription, and the journey should take 12-18 months to truly provide the type of business that you’ll be proud of and produce the blended gross margins that make the whole transition worth your effort.
In closing, don’t forget the importance your current vendors and distributors can play in helping drive your success. The likes of Cisco (@CiscoCloud), Microsoft (@Azure), Dell (@DellCloud), VMware (@vCloud), Veeam (@veeam ), Tech Data (@TechDataCloud), Intelisys (@IntelisysCorp) and Westcon (@WestconGroup) can help you significantly increase your capabilities.
They all have profitable platforms you can utilize in crafting your solutions that will differentiate you in the marketplace—and allow you to create services that are margin-rich. Of course, this is once you’ve done the work necessary to position your business to leverage their world-class enablement programs.
Keep Calm and Cloud On