Cloud Transformations: How to Overcome Customer Uncertainty
By Javed Sikander, NetEnrich
When it comes to cloud transformations, there are a lot of potential pain points for customers. Uncertainty abounds as systems and processes are shifted to the cloud and on-premise infrastructure falls by the wayside. Internal IT teams may not know what their purpose is anymore, endless systems – procurement, HR, accounting – move from an on-premise infrastructure to the cloud, and budgets shift from capex to opex as monthly recurring charges start to appear on the CFO’s desk.
It’s easy to see why customers may find a cloud transformation stressful and filled with uncertainties. This is where you come in as their channel partner. If you can address their uncertainties head on and offer clear answers to the myriad questions they have, you’ll be able to shift their cloud transformation from a significant stress factor to an easy transition that will bring both you and your customers endless efficiencies and optimum performance output.
The first and obvious uncertainty your customers are going to be facing when it comes to cloud transformation is cost. IT spend is always under the microscope, and when it comes to cloud and the services surrounding it, it can be hard for customers to understand the associated costs.
Concerns include not only the overall cost of the transition, but initial outlay costs and monthly costs once the customer has moved to the cloud. Customers will also be thinking about the capex they’ve already laid out on servers and similar equipment they may no longer be using once they move to the cloud. “Was this a waste of money?” they will wonder.
When it comes to cloud transformations, a total cost analysis is the top uncertainty that CIOs have.
Alongside cost, your customers are likely to want to know how their data and infrastructure will be managed once they’ve taken the plunge and made the cloud investment. Their IT guys, whose lives were likely once pretty miserable trying to service the entire business, might now be wondering whether they’re still required. And many CIOs want to know the answer to that, too.
Customer questions can range from the simple “Is everything taken care of with the cloud?” to the more detailed (and potentially convoluted) “Are my IT guys now just business users who can forget about IT?” Customers will want to know what, if anything, they need to monitor and manage. They will be asking exactly what their cloud vendor does, what you (as their service provider) do specifically, and what, if anything, they need to do to keep their environment up and running.
They will want to know how much of their new cloud environment is taken care of by the cloud vendor and how much they need to do themselves.
Customers also like to understand how their architecture might look once they’ve made the cloud transformation leap. Without being given a clear picture of their new cloud stack, uncertainties start to creep in and they may see their cloud transformation as just moving from a small data center into a larger data center.
This can be compounded by the customer not making full use of the services their new cloud provider offers. While Azure and AWS each offer in the realm of 100 services, unless the customer starts …