Transitioning to the Four Cs: Compliance, Capability and Cost Control
I recently shared an article on my social media network from the Denver Business Journal titled,”Why your IT guy doesn’t want you to go to the cloud.” I shared it for several reasons. First, the author, Heinan Landa, owns an MSP in the Washington D.C. area. I’ve known him for several years and thought I would recognize his article. Second, I wanted to see what happened. I notably didn’t put a comment on this post, to see how my network responded.
Responses were much of what I had expected from a network consisting heavily of others in the channel. In general, people in my network didn’t note that the ideas in the article were deep or new–which would be exactly the response you’d expect from those who are active in the channel and in cloud computing already. The target audience of the article is more business owners rather then solution providers, and the article is designed for those who are in organizations resistant to change.
One comment, however, stood out. An old college friend, also in IT and generally serving enterprise organizations, posted:
“IT is transitioning anyway. These days it’s more about the 4 Cs. Compliance, Capability and Cost Control. All of these have to be dealt with anyway, but most IT guys don’t want to deal with that.”
This comment was dead-on, and vital for solution providers to be aware of. Technical people can often gravitate to the technical details, but, increasingly, IT is truly about these 4 Cs. Solution providers who are building offerings (particularly managed services offerings) around compliance, capability and cost control are positioning themselves for long-term strategic success.
Compliance: Are you positioning your offerings to discuss security and compliance needs? Helping customers ensure they are in alignment with guidelines, regulations and legislation for their industry, location and needs? There are many kinds of regulatory compliance, such as Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), HIPAA, PCI in the United States, and Germany’s Deutscher Corporate Governance Kodex and Australia’s Corporate Law Economic Reform Program Act. This can even include software licensing compliance. What risk do your customers face?
Capability: Rather than focus strictly on keeping systems running, solution providers should be looking to ensure they have provided the appropriate functionality for their customers, and continue to do so ongoing. Are they taking advantage of the latest capability in software? Are you offering training services to help their teams maximize their current capabilities? Are you planning with them for future needs?
Cost Control: IT is a significant investment. Are you budgeting with your customers? Do you ensure that they are paying for appropriate services? Not overpaying? Getting everything they do pay for? Are you helping plan, anticipate needs and reduce costs? These kinds of questions focus on proper cost management, budgeting and business value, and drive right to the core of customer need.
Focusing on these 4Cs will position offerings in a very different place than competition, commodity or incumbent providers. This turns into higher profit and higher margin offerings, and sells significantly better.
Selling to the right people also matters. Business owners and business stakeholders think in these terms. Internal IT staff people often don’t, and selling to the wrong stakeholders is a key problem. As eloquently put by another friend …
“When I think of the yacht I could have bought with the commission checks I didn’t score because the solution I was selling was going to cost some overpaid MCSE or CCNA some of his ‘workload,’ it makes me cry.”
Dave Sobel, Director of Partner Community at MAXfocus, is responsible for fostering the growth and success of MAXFocus Partners. As Director of Partner Community, he helps promote collaboration, education and innovation among MAXfocus Partners and among the industry as a whole, ensures they have access to business, technology and market resources, and are utilizing the MAX Platform to achieve positive growth, enhance their offerings and become best-in-class solution providers. Guest blogs such as this one are published monthly and are part of The VAR Guy’s annual platinum sponsorship.