This article first appeared in the Summer 2016 issue of The Record.
Before my role at Hanu, I dealt primarily in marketing cupcakes, crafts and home décor to women typically aged 35-60. Entering the world of cloud services and cloud technology, coming from a vastly different background, was quite a challenge. My knowledge of the Microsoft cloud, and cloud technology in general, was pretty much non-existent.
Most consumers find themselves where I was, cloud inept, but consumers at all technical levels should have a basic understanding of what the cloud is and why it can benefit their businesses. But, as of 2015, 68% of enterprises
run less than a fifth of their application portfolios on the cloud. With such low adoption rates, how can we expect our customers outside the tech bubble to even approach us for our services?
How do we change this? Like with most things, it starts at home.
Firstly, we as partners need a fuller understanding of the cloud and how it can benefit our customers. Because the cloud is new and ever changing, it’s easy to take a ‘learn as you go approach,’ but wouldn’t you rather be the best at what you do? Specifically related to Azure, Microsoft offers tons of training to get your teams up to speed. What’s the last session you attended? Your team?
Secondly, we need to stop treating the cloud as an exclusive club. It seems partners get hung up on chasing the ‘big boys’ in the space, where real, legitimate, and highly-profitable business often lies in the small business sector. These companies can see even greater benefit from the cloud than Fortune ranked brands, but yet we find their understanding of the cloud
is even less.
And lastly, we as partners need to stop pretending we are good at everything. Cloud services is a huge term and can mean a ton of different things on even more platforms than most probably know exist. By narrowing down what our teams excel at, as well as choosing a focus area, we can truly become trusted experts and advisors in our fields.
As an example, at Hanu we are completely focused on the cloud as it pertains to Microsoft Azure. For some, this may sound limiting, but for us, it has proven to be very successful, as we are no longer extended beyond our capabilities during a job.
In order to increase awareness and overall adoption of the cloud, we must first look at ourselves. With just a few simple changes, the potential clients who were once clueless can become some of your most profitable business allies.
Emily Murphy is marketing and communications director at Hanu Software