By Rich Wiltbank
Yes, you read that right – I think that Solution Providers today should NOT move to the Cloud. Moving to something connotes leaving something behind, going from one thing to another. I think this is exactly the wrong strategy to build a profitable, growing Solution Provider business.
To explain myself, let’s look at your customers: they are not MOVING to the Cloud, discarding their physical and virtual infrastructure that they have built up over many years. Instead, they are trying to pragmatically INTEGRATE Cloud-delivered resources and applications into their existing IT infrastructure. As you can see from the chart below (created by Novell using data from IDC and Gartner), cloud, virtual and physical infrastructure will all still be relevant in the coming years.
So, why should your Solution Provider business be any different? You should not be looking at replacing your existing practices around physical and virtual infrastructure. Instead, you should be integrating Cloud offerings into what you are already doing. And, you should be cashing in on the profitable business of helping your customers understand HOW they make all of their disparate IT pieces work together as one.
Your value lies in your ability to be close enough to your customers so you can see their pain, make knowledgeable recommendations on how to best use the range of available technologies (including Cloud Computing) to solve their pain, and form relationships with vendors that have tools or solutions that let you implement those recommendations profitably. This creates success that will really MOVE your business forward!
What issues have you experienced as you try to integrate cloud delivery models with existing infrastructure models?