To capture public cloud business, service providers need to ensure they have checked off three key steps.
Align the Business Strategy to the Cloud Strategy
The first step is where many service providers fall down. Service providers must identify the:
- Market opportunity
- Drivers for moving to the cloud
- Business processes that need to change internally
- Difference cloud will make on the current business strategy
- Cost implications – both CapEx and OpEx
- Geographical opportunities – will cloud help the service provider expand geographies?
- Customer acquisition opportunity
- Options for differentiation against other service providers
- Market concerns i.e. public versus private cloud
Service providers are often acknowledging they need to offer cloud, without actually identifying how the criterion for success is defined. Being able to answer the above points will help service providers to journey down the most suitable path to actually offer a cloud offering in line with their business goals. This will in turn help them capture an untapped market.
2. Assess Existing Tools/Capacities Available
Next the service provider needs an internal review of the existing tools available, in the context of their ability to enable cloud services to customers. For example:
- What billing capabilities exist?
- What customer portal is available?
- How is the business provisioning services now?
In most cases, service providers will have some tools, but not all the tools necessary to offer cloud services. However, service providers do not need to re-invent their business, throwing away all the existing technology, hardware, tools, billing models etc. Instead, they need complementary technology. This leads to the last point.
3. Complement Existing Tools with Cloud-Specific Solutions
Simply put, service providers will need cloud-specific solutions to offer cloud services. Using specific solutions will allow the service provider to capitalise on the market opportunity and address customer requirements, all while staying true to the business strategy. This is where cloud orchestration solutions play a key role in addressing business requirements.