It’s a new year, and that means we have 2015 to look back on and learn from! Based on how this past year has gone, we’ve compiled some trends in the 2016 cloud market and selling tips that just make sense for the new year.
Trends in the Cloud Market
It’s a fun time to be reading cloud news, as there have been a lot of predictions about market trends for 2016. Some of the major predictions include the following:
- Cloud technology, though already essential to business, will continue maturing. Forecasts have found that 25% of total IT budgets will be allocated to cloud computing in 2016, with 48% of enterprises moving to the cloud to replace on-premises, legacy technology. (IDG) Cloud is being called “disruptive innovation,” as it is changing the way business is done today. While we might not hear about it in every other news article anymore, cloud-first strategies will increase on national, regional, municipal and enterprise levels. And a lot of the focus will be put on what the cloud can do – or as IT World Canada describes it, the “-ilities,” including portability, accessibility, usability, manageability, confidentiality and credibility.
- The IT role will continue to develop. IT departments will experience increased collaboration with other departments due to cloud investments. There will be a greater need for training across organizations. Additionally, statistically the CIO has majority influence when it comes to the cloud purchasing process, though the CEO, CTO and CSOs definitely play their part. Roles in IT aren’t going anywhere – they’re simply evolving.
- Security will remain top of mind. Businesses looking to move to the cloud will pay great attention to privacy and ownership of their data. Security will remain important for architects, operators and customers alike. Concerns regarding the security of the cloud is the top challenge faced in cloud adoption, at 64%.
- We will see major growth in the Internet of Things. All types of things will become software defined, with Machine to Machine communications holding the potential to be the next big wave of Internet development. Smart cars, wearable technology and automated home systems will improve and increase. The Internet of Things is here to stay, and it’s certainly going to change the way we live.
- Personalization is key. Today, technology is expected to fit the needs and expectations of the user, not the other way around. This will affect technology and cloud developments. Things like user interfaces and wearable technology will continue to mature and accommodate today’s users.
- Businesses will take advantage of data analysis capabilities. We’ve all heard about “Big Data” by now, but up until this point, it’s been very focused on the collection, storage and processing of large amounts of data. There will be a greater emphasis on the actual analysis of data to access customer information and discover trends. And of course, data will only continue to grow exponentially.
When it comes to selling cloud services in 2016, there are some different ways to differentiate yourself. These are some of our tips for selling cloud this year:
- Don’t sell. Educate! Even today, many organizations don’t fully understand the cloud and therefore are clueless as to how it can impact their business. Many businesses will probably be hesitant at first and list off all the reasons why they think the cloud isn’t feasible for them. That’s your golden opportunity to educate them!
- Think long term. A cloud sale doesn’t necessarily happen right away. It takes time and patience. Identify different long-term targets to pursue, and make sure you’re the go-to if they start thinking “cloud.” Keep an eye out for signs of fatigue in their business, and anticipate different opportunities so you can be there at the right moment.
- If possible, demonstrate. Cold calling can be tough, and often you’ll get a response like, “Just email me.” Unfortunately, cloud doesn’t lend itself as well to PDFs or white papers. It’s something that should be seen in action! Let potential clients now this, and offer to schedule a quick demo at their convenience.
- Use all the tools at your disposal! It’s easy, and definitely helpful, to combine client information with social media or email tools. Doing this means you can be alerted when a client has big life news, giving you a great chance to check in with them. Additionally, use the marketing materials available to you! Many sales teams forget to collaborate with marketing, but together, this is the dream team.
- Emphasize security and compliance benefits. These continue to be major barriers to cloud adoption, so it’s important to reassure potential clients that they’ll be in good hands.
What do you think 2016 has in store for cloud computing and technology? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!