The MSP’s Job No. 1: How to Win the CEO Over to the Cloud
When it comes to pitching CEOs about the cloud, the last thing they want to hear about is technology.
Sure, some bits and bytes will figure in any technology discussion. But this is a business discussion and helping non-technical chief executives understand what the cloud can do for their companies involves a far broader set of considerations.
Above all, don’t geek out. This is a very different kind of conversation from the one you would have with the CIO or CTO of a company about cloud computing. A CEO’s
responsibilities extend to the four corners of the enterprise and you need to speak to their strategic concerns. Think big picture, get to the point and don’t waste time with technical mumbo-jumbo.
Any good CEO will have at least a surface familiarity with the technical basics of cloud computing, but your presentation will go nowhere fast if it winds up as a lopsided dissertation on speeds and feeds. Keep the focus on how migrating to the cloud helps the overall business and boosts profitability.
Security to Scalability
MSPs may face pockets of uncertainty and skepticism about cloud computing, but market trends are working in their favor. More companies continue to jump on the bandwagon every year. Gartner expects spending on cloud computing to grow 16.5% this year, reaching $204 billion. IDC offers a slightly different but equally bullish projection, with cloud spending growing from $70 billion last year to more than $141 billion by 2019.
But the CEO already knows that rivals are moving to the cloud. That’s why you’re there. So lay out the advantages for their particular business in clear, succinct fashion.
● Computer security is now a board level concern and the status quo is not serving the interests of enterprises or their CEOs. While there are no easy solutions to silence the free fire zone that is now cyber-security, the cloud will help. Few on-premise businesses are equipped to battle security threats from organized criminal groups and nation states.
Although any business making the switch to the cloud incurs a certain degree of risk, MSPs can pull out case studies from their portfolio of successful cloud migrations, explaining how a successful migration can lead to enhanced network protection.
● To be sure, MSPs will need to explain how cloud computing affects the generation and consumption of computing power. Detail how the cloud’s scalability and high availability will improve efficiency, a metric closely watched by CEOs as well as why the expense involved in acquiring and processing data in a cloud infrastructure will be a fraction of what it would otherwise cost.
● Underscore the myriad economic advantages of building and running a cloud infrastructure, pointing out the extra flexibility the company will have, being able to tap capacity on demand. The ultimate payoff to customers: You get projects up and running far more quickly with the cloud compared with an on-premise infrastructure.
● The transition to the cloud fosters greater use of mobility and gives employees more flexibility to collaborate. The ability to communicate on a 24×7-basis using cloud-based apps translates into higher productivity, one of the concerns near and dear to any CEO’s heart.
Keep the conversation at a 20,000-foot level and come armed with facts, so the CEO can judge the relative business risks and rewards. In the end, this is about helping them make informed judgments about whether the cloud makes sense for their companies. The better the information you supply, the better your odds of clinching the deal.
This content is underwritten by VMware — and is editorially independent. It is produced in accordance with conventional standards of business journalism.
Charles Cooper is an award-winning freelance author who writes about business and technology. During his 30-plus year career, he has worked as an executive editor at several leading tech publications including CNET, ZDNet, PC Week and Computer Shopper.