Despite the overwhelming number of resources touting the exploding cloud market, some IT solution providers still continue to treat cloud services like an afterthought or merely a conversation-starter to get their foot in the door with the hope of selling something else. The reality is that Capex IT purchases will continue to dwindle, and holding on to yesterday’s IT business model of selling on premise hardware and software is a losing proposition.
The good news is that selling cloud services doesn’t have to be a “loss leader.” The key is understanding the new challenges that come with cloud. A study conducted by the IT Process Institute (ITPI) sheds some light on this matter, uncovering the fact that 76% of companies report a low to medium level of success with their cloud projects — nearly twice the failure rate of general IT projects. More likely than not, it wasn’t a security breach or power outage that led to this frustration; it was a lack of planning.
Despite the fact that some cloud services can be setup in a matter of just a few minutes doesn’t mean that the customer is instantly able to make the switch to a new cloud service. Even something as basic as email can become a colossal failure if proper planning isn’t performed. Following are a few questions cloud migration professionals ask their clients before the switchover:
- How much data needs to be moved to the cloud?
- How will that data be moved (e.g., via the Internet, shipping an external drive, or some other way)?
- When should the data be transferred and should it be done all at once or in phases? If the latter, in what order should the data be migrated?
- How long should the two IT environments operate in parallel before going live with the cloud service?
Some IT solution providers, like UK-based Perspicuity, have become so focused on providing cloud migration services that they only take on new clients who need their migration services. During a recent conversation with Perspicuity CEO Ben Gower, he shared with me that becoming a cloud migration services expert (with the help of SkyKick’s Microsoft Office 365 migration service) is a key part of his company’s 30% growth over the past two quarters. “We could deploy and service PCs or offer a host of other IT services, but we’ve found our niche being really good at providing cloud migration services,” says Gower. “Based on our customer satisfaction levels and healthy revenue growth and profit margins, I’d say we made the right choice.”