Over the last ten years, the IT industry has changed profoundly. Cloud technology has made innovative IT services available to the whole world and accelerated the digital transformation faster than anyone had expected. Even the most well-performing companies changed their business models to set up new online distribution channels and keep up with new customer expectations.
Adopting new IT technology is key to stay competitive in business. This applies to all companies, big and small. Who would have thought that even the ‘hairdresser on the corner’ would go digital with an online reservation system and advanced CRM? After all, today's customers want more than a great haircut and the usual chit-chat. They want a unique, personalised user experience from start to end. Easy, safe, and at a reasonable price.
The digital cloud has changed the role of the IT service provider. As an SP, you are no longer just supporting your customers, but you should also look forward and assess what they need for the future of their business. The cloud enables new developments like AI, platforms and more scalability. If you want to help your customers to stay ahead of the competition, you have to enable them to keep up with new technology making business more secure, agile and efficient. That is what finding New Ways Forward is all about.
Of course, your customers have the final say on their business & IT strategy, and they may choose to keep the procurement and configuration of cloud services in-house. Where does that leave you as an IT service provider? There are different strategies to explore:
Adopting new technology offers your customers many benefits in terms of performance, scalability, and flexibility, but there are also risks. The IT cloud is complex, and most organisations only have limited knowledge on issues like data security, compliance risks, or cloud migration. It is up to you as a service provider to fill the gap by becoming their IT partner, informing them about the possibilities of the cloud, and giving advice about the best IT strategy for their business. A growing number of service providers are starting to offer consultancy services, and this trend is likely to continue in the future.
For IT service providers who are more comfortable with the technique itself, it might be a logical step to transform into a Cloud Services Broker (CSB) and focus on the integration of cloud services. These CSBs are specialized in selecting, configuring, integrating, and maintaining cloud-based and hybrid environments. That is a wide range of services to choose from, so there is lots of diversity between different CSBs. Some specialise in one of the well-known platforms (such as Azure or Office 365). Others pursue different platforms and techniques, or specialise in building hybrid clouds with local data storage.
Another strategy is developing your own, unique cloud services and distributing them through a central marketplace. It might be an app for easy backup, a useful API, or a virtual desktop for a specific market. Just think about your local hairdresser. He will be pleasantly surprised with a fully equipped and secure environment, including an online calender, CRM, and administration system. There sure is a market for these kinds of cloud services.
At Insight, we help service providers in realizing their business ambitions in a multi-cloud world. As a multi-vendor software licensing, workload, and cloud platform specialist, we can guide you through all stages of your strategic cloud journey. No matter where you are in your journey, we help you to find new ways forward and accelerate your business. Contact one of our cloud specialists for a talk.