Measuring ROI for cloud usage is no doubt a difficult task, and when prospective clients are considering potential cloud-based MSPs, it may still be something they want to hear about. However each company is different and MSPs need to be able to modify their approaches accordingly. As this article from InformationWeek explains, there are big differences between a new, fast growing company like Airbnb and a monolithic, experienced company like GE, and how they use cloud services such as cloud-based file sharing.

You Merely Adopted the Cloud, We Were Born in It

The perception of the cloud is clearly very different to a company such as Airbnb versus a company like GE. Airbnb, a company that provides a platform where people can rent their apartments or vacation homes directly to strangers via the internet, has never even had its own data center. Six years ago the company launched via cloud services, and subsequently built all of their applications in the cloud.

Therefore Airbnb’s view of calculating ROI on cloud usage is a bit more lax than many other companies. In fact it landed in the 20 percent of companies that don’t calculate ROI for their cloud projects. MSPs should take note, these newer, agile and cloud-based companies may have varying perceptions and therefore approaches for potential clients need to be adjusted. If a company like Airbnb doesn’t care much for calculated ROI on cloud, then a pitch based on that ROI will be ineffective. Instead perhaps focus on the intangible and long term benefits of cloud services as a whole.

It’s All Part of the Plan

GE has been around for 122 years. They have 300,000 employees, 34 data centers and over 9,000 applications. It’s safe to say that a company like GE is probably as far from a company like Airbnb as it can get when it comes to IT experience. However, GE is “all in on the cloud”, however it is proceeding with a carefully laid out plan.

Companies that have mastered managing metrics will need a much more defined and precise argument when discussions about cloud options are brought to the table. GE is massive, and their company spans countless industries. Adopting the cloud is no easy feat for them simply because of the sheer size of the project. Each section of the company will have different needs and uses, they will have to migrate (over time) 9,000 applications to cloud based ones, and there will be certain areas that the cloud will not be cost effective for them because of their size. Therefor ROI and a slow transition to cloud providers are important to large companies like GE, in order to gain valuable metrics and insight into the process so they can make better informed decisions in the future.

Can’t Hurt Your Chances

The biggest takeaway from this InformationWeek article for MSPs that specialize in cloud services is that it definitely cannot hurt your chances to diversify your strategy when it comes to “selling” the cloud. These varying views of the benefits and costs of the cloud each require drastically different approaches when it comes to persuading clients that cloud services is the correct next step for their business. Also be sure to take a look at the rest of the survey results in the article, there is some valuable insight into cloud perceptions and usage across a large number of companies, and how they are approaching their transitions to cloud computing and file sharing.