Harnessing flexibility and breaking through barriers: Cloud trends for 2022
Flexibility is driving the market
Customers demand choice and flexibility when it comes to the deployment of technology. They care about where their data resides, its regional location, and security is forefront of mind. This means the channel needs to take time to understand business drivers and needs, and be able to offer a range of options. This usually comes down to three choices: a provider’s cloud, a shared cloud, or a managed cloud.
Regardless of cloud platform, we know that customers are looking for solutions that adhere to ISO27001, the information security standard. This gives them confidence that their data is safe and sound. This goes hand in hand with ISO22301, giving customers assurance that there are business continuity management plans in place should a disruptive incident occur.
Breaking through the barriers
From a channel partners’ perspective, there are still some partners that perceive the cloud brings increased risk. With so much choice in the market, customer retention can be a challenge and some partners are reluctant to push cloud-based technologies as a result.
The partners that are succeeding in the market, however, are those that have embraced the benefits of cloud, choosing solutions that are unique, easy to use, and – most importantly – directly alleviate their customers’ pain points. The benefits of the cloud far outweigh the negatives, such as; the ability to bring solutions together using single sign on, the use of APIs to present relevant data to relevant people, recurring revenue models and robust security with redundancy. Partners can add value by taking a consultative approach, and ensuring that their customers truly understand the benefits of the services they offer, equipping them to self-serve with online help and product information, but still offer excellent customer experience post sale.
Trends for 2022
We are likely to see deeper integration of products and services to meet the needs of customers and to deliver a more joined-up user experience in terms of data and analytics.
APIs continue to be key to enable greater integration into existing propositions. AI and machine learning also continually evolve to power increasingly relevant and timely intelligence through automation, in line with customer need.
The big focus this year is reducing churn, as businesses re-evaluate their tools and technology after two years of disruption. This means taking a close look at ease of use, ease of sale, and delivering the right tools for the right people. As always, vendors need to deliver on strong roadmaps that are in-tune with the changing needs both of partners and end customers.
The channel needs to focus on their value-added services by understanding the needs of their customers and how their cloud tools will be used. Seamless provisioning and easy adoption are critical and then new integrations need to be strong with applications or add-ons being useful and relevant.