For beginners, as consumers, we use cloud computing in our everyday life — and have been for some time. We use iTunes for our music, stream Netflix to our TV when we want to watch movies, and check our Gmail and even our finances from our laptops, our smartphones — even our cars.
We never think twice about using our iPad or our BlackBerry to conduct personal business — while we are in airports, waiting for oil changes, or sitting in the drive-through at the local McDonalds. We’ve learned — as consumers — that cloud makes us more productive, more connected, and more accessible to everyone from our boss to our kids. In fact, we’ve learned that lesson so well that studies show the adoption of cloud services on the consumer side could be as high as 90%.
What does this have to do with solutions providers and the IT channel? Everything. Because while Joe and Jane Consumer are adopting cloud solutions and cloud-enabling technology tools left and right, businesses are lagging behind. In fact, on average, most research shows the adoption rate of cloud by businesses has barely reached 15%. The reasons include a propensity to maintain control over business data and squeeze ongoing value out of IT investments made over the years.
But as those IT investments start to near refresh points, and businesses realize their competitiveness can be enabled by flexible, scalable cloud solutions, I expect those business adoption rates to skyrocket.
Additionally, since C-level decision makers who guide IT investing are among those enjoying the power of cloud as consumers, they are driving the exploration and implementation of cloud in their businesses. Plus, many organizations understand that as they hire an increasingly tech-savvy generation of employees who expect access to productivity enhancing tools; their innovation will be tied to cutting-edge, always-accessible tools such as those powered by cloud computing.
What does this movement net for those MSPs and VARs who are offering cloud services and solutions? A great opportunity to meet the needs of these business leaders, who already understand the benefits of cloud services. The groundwork has been laid; your challenge is to communicate the value of those same cloud services in a business setting. How? Tailor your cloud education efforts at the C-suite, and be prepared to draw parallels between the pros of consumer cloud consumption, and business-class cloud value proposition. Don’t limit yourself to selling within the IT department, even if that is where you may be most comfortable. 75% of cloud solutions are booked by a CIO or other business managers.
Consumerization of IT is driving big change in the business world. The BYOD movement is forcing CIOs to open the corporate network and enable employee productivity through mobile devices and cloud solutions. At Ingram Micro, we believe 2012 will bring explosive growth of cloud services, and our goal is to offer the tools and guidance solutions providers need to take advantage of this dawning trend.
Renee Bergeron is VP of managed services and cloud computing at Ingram Micro, overseeing such efforts as Ingram Micro Cloud. Monthly guest blogs such as this one are part of MSPmentor's annual sponsorship program. Read all of Bergeron's guest blogs here.