By Bekki Bushnell, Head of Business Development
‘Mission Possible’ is one of the themes for this year’s Cloud Expo Europe. However, many businesses, I think it’s fair to say, haven’t yet received their orders from Mission Control.
The trouble with “the cloud”, just like “big data” or any other technology megatrend, is that it means many different things to many different people.
For some, DevOps agility is an absolute must, in order to accelerate application delivery. Others need to enable a more secure and compliant IT environment with the combination of root and branch cyber security solutions laid on top of their cloud-based infrastructure. For others, the question is still as fundamental as “should I look at cloud computing at all?”
And after answering that question, then there are the multitude of buzzwords, acronyms and often generic references to the vast and deep capabilities of cloud computing that are hard to navigate – especially when trying to choose suppliers and partners, and calculate the TCO (total cost of ownership) of everything you need.
Wind the clock back a few years and cloud computing seemed inaccessible to the vast majority of B2B businesses – a malevolent and confusing presence lurking in the corner of a virtual IT closet. Now there is much broader awareness and understanding of the complexity, capability, power and scale of the cloud – and the wider democratisation of technology is accelerating this.
For instance, the silos between business units are steadily breaking down, with non-IT departments in back and front office now far more empowered to implement solutions that meet their very specific goals.
For vendors operating in this space, it’s a hugely exciting time. Organisations recognise the myriad threats and opportunities of cloud computing – these extend beyond the IT department’s responsibilities – increasing opportunities to engage stakeholders across the business. Did you know, it’s now recognised that the average number of individuals in a B2B technology buying decision can be as many as six or more?
When it comes to external communications, I think the focus must be on education. With so many B2B stakeholders now attuned to and involved in cloud computing solutions, talking only about the features and functions, bits and bytes will doubtless fall on deaf ears.
Instead, conveying the benefits, problem-solving and efficiencies simply and clearly, is what will resonate – and too often this can be a failing of technology vendors who are great at talking within their bubble, but less adept at why their audiences should care.
That’s why today, we’re launching a new campaign: ‘We’re breaking up with the cloud’. Our extensive experience with international clients at the forefront of the cloud and cyber security industries is varied but with one guiding principle for all of them applies. We help exciting brands, including Pulsant, Kaseya, Enghouse and ASG Technologies, to break free from tired padlock images, stereotype acronyms, the features and functions – so they can instead educate and inform their prospective and current customers about how they can help their clients achieve their very individual and specific goals.
With 600 suppliers, 800 speakers and senior executives from organisations as diverse as the National Crime Agency and John Lewis, next month’s event at the ExCel in London is sure to be a hugely engaging and informative one. And I’m really looking forward to changing mindsets about how cloud computing can be better communicated. If this sounds like something you’d like to achieve too, please contact me for an informal chat.
We challenge the status quo to make sure you can too