Dangers from Hyping ‘The Cloud’

Posted on September 21, 2010

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The Cloud is without doubt an opportunity to IT companies and Vendor Channels, whether you believe the figures from Garner, Forrester, IDC etc or not, there is an economic shift in favour of Cloud Computing and a market shift happening demanding the slipstreaming of this model of engagement and delivery into your business.

The ‘how’ to do this is not as straight forward in practice as the marketing and sales guru’s peddling their services to revolutionise IT company sales and marketing activities would have us believe. Nor is it a self-service tick box’s multiple choice qualification process for market evaluation or suitability to an IT vendor or resellers purpose in the market. In some ways it is simpler and n others will only become clear over time.

(I will address this in a later blog – Cloud, Hybrid or All In).

As an IT vendor or reseller this is not just another technology or practices to be boxed and shipped, it is a fundamental change to the way your customers will be consuming any of the technology and or services appropriate to their business and your integrating methodologies.

The integration methodologies represent the new challenge and event horizon which demands considerable preparation across areas of discipline less familiar to many traditional IT companies.

Discipline across areas of more traditional business disciplines than IT including:

· Strategic Business Analysis

· Business process and service planning

· Compliance and regulatory issues

These will not be addressed by a traditionally re-vamped and hyped marketing and sales plan, with traditional customer qualification questionnaires dressed up in a value sell around the pro’s and con’s of Cloud Computing, market size or sector. This approach is the equivalent of the snake oil salesman in the new world of Cloud Computing. There is no one size fits, it is a hybrid play and applicable to all, whether all turn into adopters is the challenge to divine and the divining is not a sales and marketing exercise.

Cloud Computing demands a new type of engagement model between IT Companies and their customers, and Vendors and their channels.

There are NO ‘a typical’ companies that pre-dispose themselves to Cloud Computing. Working to this type of assessment of one’s client base/target audience and or business is like trying to put a cloud in a box! The metaphor is prophetically appropriate the the futility of such a small minded approach.

Cloud Computing is a consideration for ALL types of organisations, its propriety and degree of adoption only becoming clear after open and detailed engagement at strategic and business operational process levels of engagement, amongst others that may be particular to a client’s circumstances.

Whilst Cloud Computing adoption models are appearing, these are in no way ready to roll for many companies. Such models and methodologies forming no more than planning frameworks onto which a business will layer and adapt its own requirements through a disciplined process. This process path of business evolution requires a new breed of IT Company to deliver, the real value from Cloud Computing will only then be tapped.

For now we run the gauntlet of snake oil salesman and marketer’s pumping up a cavalry charge down many IT Vendor Channels in a sad indictment to their own end’s – selling marketing and sales services in a hyped subject area, absence of market maturity and experience in the real impact of the subject matter.

IT companies require a new breed of training, with a clear validation ‘Mark’. The EU Digital Agenda is clear on this and for once I find myself in agreement with this course of action by the commission.

Cloud Computing is very much one of just a gravy train of Sales and Marketing labels that IT has been sold under. The sting in the tail this time is it is not just a solution or technology, selling it as such will yield no more than a quick win, revenue gains dulling the senses to the reality of inadvertent damage done.

Fools rush in where professionals prepare and treat with care.

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