Getting to the cloud can raise many business issues you might not have considered like why are you moving to the cloud, what are you planning to offer and what constraints do you have? We put together the ultimate guide to cloud – Zero to Cloud – a one-stop guide to helping you whatever stage you might be at on your journey to or in the cloud.
Here are some business considerations that need to be well-thought-out.
- Set your strategic goals for the cloud. Do you want to offer a new type of service with aspirations to be the number one cloud reseller, a leader in a specific market or region? Define these goals. Even better, put the goal on the wall or in your daily calendar so you don’t lose sight of what you want to achieve.
- Define your own business constraints. Do you have the team in place to succeed? What about the finances to set up the hardware. You know you’ll need datacenter space; you’ll need to pay for power, network connectivity, access and some remote hand support. At one rack with power, that might cost you $1500 and that’s just the empty rack. Know your constraints so you can plan how to overcome these.
- Select your target market segments. The products you create and the marketing that you undertake should be developed as a direct result of a good understanding of the customers that you intend to serve. For your products to be attractive and for your marketing to produce effective lead generation you need to research items such as:
- Which products and services are likely to be consumed by your target customers?
- What is your target customers’ ultimate goal?
- What use cases are you targeting? e.g. Web applications, enterprise applications, Big Data analytics?
- What price points will customers find attractive?
- What buying process do they use?
- Who will buy? What are your users’ personas?
- What are the competitors offers into your customer base?
The biggest measure of success is often the offer that you make. The offer (your product, service and price) is more likely to succeed if it meets the needs of your target customer and delivers greater perceived value than alternatives. It is also true that a minimum of 60% of a buyer journey is completed entirely online so spend time understanding your target customers to ensure that your online content engages, nurtures and converts your prospects into customers.
- Build out the products you will take to market. Map out what you truly want to take to market. This will make it easier when evaluating your technology later. Maybe you want a self-service portal for resellers or a way to sell not only your infrastructure, but others like AWS, Microsoft or Google for example. Make that decision as early as you can, but be ready to change it on the way.
- Define your go-to-market strategy. As part of the business planning, you need to answer the following questions:
- How will you price each product?
- Can end-users buy on the website?
- What marketing needs to occur?
- How will you take products to resellers?
- Will you market different brands? Will you offer one brand for VPS customers, another brand for the low end of the market, the middle of the market and then high revenue customers? You might want to have several different brands each with a unique journey and experience.
- Will your brands be under one payment umbrella or will you treat each as separate companies for payment?
- How will your products be priced your resellers. What profit margins vs. overheads do you expect? What is the difference between your wholesale and retail price?
- Listen to the market and be reactive. Despite your business planning, you have to carefully listen to the market throughout the zero to cloud process, and beyond. Talk to your prospects and customers, understand their needs and be ready to change and adapt your offering to new use cases to profit from the latest opportunities. Innovation in this space is fast so your ability to react and adapt will make the difference in the size of the market share you’ll be able to win.
Build the business product to meet your customers’ needs. Ensure you consider all of the above so you can plan your technology accordingly.
For more considerations on technology, hardware and virtualization, cloud management software, cloud deployment or customer acquisition, download our Zero to Cloud Checklist now.