It’s a fact. Hardware sales don’t pay the bills, so how do you position your business to thrive in the future? Learn more about cloud shift and how you can future-proof your business with the following five steps:
1) Focus more on cloud services, less on commodity hardware
There’s a shift underway that will soon affect your revenues, if it doesn’t already. Gartner’s worldwide IT spending forecast illustrates that a “cloud shift” will affect more than $1 trillion in IT spending by 2020—making “cloud computing one of the most disruptive forces in IT spending since the early days of the digital age.” The shift away from traditional IT sales to cloud services means you need to shift away from selling commodity IT products and round out your cloud services offerings.
2) Define a clear target market
Ready, fire and aim doesn’t work when it comes to defining your target market. While you may take whatever available business comes your way, it may not be the best use of your resources and time. Establish a clear target market that sets your business apart in the areas you serve so you’re leveraging what you do best. For example, if you play in a geographical region, focus and be strong in a vertical like banking, government, healthcare, hospitality, retail, etc. One way to bolster your vertical focus is to refine your staff training around needed skills and knowledge.
3) Diversify your cloud strategy
Establish a clear and diverse cloud strategy. Look beyond offering only Office 365 as a cloud option. For example, create a multi-cloud strategy with two or more cloud services that leverage different cloud infrastructures to meet the various needs of your customers.
4) Develop your strategic plan now
Take a step from managing your day-to-day operations and set your sights on a strategic plan now. Develop and commit to a clear one-, three- and five-year strategic plan that keeps your target market in sight, leverages your core strengths and clearly outlines how you’ll evolve your business. The strategic plan doesn’t just define where your business is going and how it’ll get there. It also keeps you and your team focused on what’s important so you don’t get distracted.
5) Be the trusted advisor and invest in relationships
Be a comprehensive solution provider who advises and educates end customers and is responsive to their needs. Building that trusted advisor relationship now will keep them focused on your quality of service vs. making commodity product decisions. For example, an emphasis on value-added security services or other regulatory and/or compliance requirements can help stave off efforts from competitors who may attempt to lure existing clients.
As the cloud shift evolves, these five steps will help you and your business weather changes to products that migrate from commodity hardware offerings to services.