In a world of uncertainty, one thing is sure: Companies of all sizes will increase their spending on cloud services over the next several years.
IDC, in its Worldwide Semiannual Public Cloud Services Spending Guide released early this year, expects that spend to double from last year’s $70 billion to more than $140 billion by 2019. That’s more than 19 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR). Other analysts offer similar predictions.
That presents plenty of existing and future opportunities for IT solution providers playing in a variety of markets. Industries expected to spend the most on cloud services include manufacturing at $8.6 billion, followed by banking and professional services, at about $6.7 billion each. Telecomm will be the fastest growing vertical through 2019, with a CAGR of 20 percent. Large enterprises will spend the most on cloud, about $80 billion in 2019, but companies with fewer than 500 employees will contribute more than 40 percent to the total. Those SMBs (small to medium sized businesses), all with an expected cloud service CAGR north of 20 percent, include many of the types of business solution providers service every day. These include SMBs in retail, transportation, media, education, and local and state governments.
Despite the expected growth, 60 percent of senior tech decision managers say their companies still have limited use of the cloud, according to a new survey conducted by IT consultant Softchoice. The main reason is they lack the skill sets and structures needed to develop and manage public cloud solutions. That spells opportunities for IT solution providers. Here are a few tips on how to leverage them.
- Right Pitch, Right Player: Many businesses are trying to adopt a cloud-first mentality. That means all divisions in a company are impacted as they migrate legacy systems, data and applications to the cloud. A relationship with the company’s CEO is great, but relationships with multiple department heads and line-of-business managers could be better.
- Identify Their Needs: CEOs look to increase their company’s competitive edge, CFOs need to save money, CMOs need data to respond quickly to trends. Know what your contacts need and the cloud services that can help them before presenting the big pitch.
- Show ‘Em What You Got: Many IT solution providers have the advantage of being full solution providers. Apply that strategic dev-ops depth to cloud services. More than 50 percent of companies struggle with developing cloud-related strategies, skillsets and training, according to Softchoice. Offer your expertise to provide these profitable services.
- Go Hybrid: Push the benefits of a hybrid solution. Private clouds offer the customization and security needed to protect crucial information, while public clouds provide more affordable and convenient options. Private clouds also give solution providers the chance to sell, install, integrate and maintain the full solution. The use of hybrid cloud solutions will continue to grow over the next few years, analysts predict.
- Full-Court Press: Applications may live in the cloud, but the solution lives on the ground. Solution providers have the implementation and integration skills companies need to make it all work efficiently, connect all of the pieces, and maintain the infrastructure for an optimized solution.
- Keep It Comin’: Those management, support, maintenance and security offerings add up to multiple sources of recurring revenue.
Applications will continue to move to the cloud, but it doesn’t mean your margins have to follow. Successful IT solution providers have always followed best practices and agile management strategies to increase their competitive edge. Today is no different.
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