As you’re selling cloud services in 2016, you’ll have to build a strategy about talking cloud with C-level executives. This post covers strategies and tips for interacting with various business leaders, and how to best position the cloud with each one.
C-Suite Hot Buttons
These cloud hot buttons are benefits that will excite executive members of a business. They’ll help get your foot in the door and talk cloud computing with a company’s decision makers.
By removing on-site hardware, electricity costs, hardware refreshes and more, a business will immediately see savings. Moving to the cloud generally means moving to an operational expenditure, or pay-as-you-go, model. This creates predictability in costs, ensuring that your budget allocation isn’t wasted. Cloud computing helps eliminate the guesswork of how much of certain resources you’ll need prior to spending money on them. With traditional computing, this guesswork often leads to over-allocation and wasting money, or under-allocation and issues with business growth. These can be avoided with cloud solutions. You ultimately don’t own the hardware – the provider does – so you don’t need to factor sunk costs into your budget for yearly spend.
And cloud doesn’t just lead to savings. It creates opportunities for you to invent revenue through the IT department. This can occur by putting Big Data analytics to work, revamping processes to be more streamlined, and finding creative ways to offset the cost of operations. Save big and earn big!
Moving from Reactive to Proactive
Focusing on opportunities that IT can bring to drive core competencies may have a material impact on both cost reduction and profit increase. Money may be left on the table if there is no IT budget and simply a business-as-usual approach. By mapping IT plans to profit, a business enables quick prioritization and pruning of IT initiatives.
The Cloud Drives Faster Time-to-Value
With lower upfront costs and rapid speed of deployment in the cloud, a business can experience greater simplicity in deploying new versions of products or services. There are reduced support needs for this process, and much better utilization of resources in the cloud.
Success With BYOD
Alternative workplace strategies such as telework, flex-work and outsourcing are transforming the way people and organizations do business, and they’re becoming increasingly common today. BYOD offers employees the flexibility of choosing the ideal time, place and device for their work and provides them with uninterrupted access to their desktops and applications during business disruptions of any kind. Better yet, even with this freedom comes protection of confidential business information, meeting privacy, compliance and risk management standards. BYOD reduces real estate, travel and labor costs, and has the potential to attract and retain the best people because it doesn’t really matter where they are!
Know Who You’re Talking To
Different decision makers have different priorities. If you know who you’ll be talking to, make sure you know how to talk to them!
IT Manager Priorities: “Make my job easier!”
When convincing an IT manager to make the cloud shift, they may question whether the cloud will replace their job. The answer is 100% no! Yes, cloud computing removes physical infrastructure from an on-site solution to a virtual one, but that simply opens the IT Manager’s schedule to work on business progressive tasks and projects with their team. And they are still responsible for the management and monitoring of a cloud solution. This includes both user and device management within their organization. A cloud solution simply makes it easier to perform that management, since everything is centrally located in a provider’s, like RapidScale’s, administrative portals. The IT Manager will have to consider which exact cloud solution fits the business’ needs, and how many different cloud offerings need to be incorporated (Virtual desktop? Virtual servers? DR? Hosted Exchange?).
CIO Priorities: “Improve my team’s efficiency and lower costs!”
Traditionally, a CIO focused on purchasing hardware and software, overseeing implementation, maintenance and security, and simply making sure everything worked. Today, however, the CIO is quickly transforming into a leader and strategist, with a new focus on delivering business value, focusing on growth and the competitive landscape, identifying problems and solutions, and choosing new tools to implement. After moving to the cloud, a CIO will find they can spend less while actually getting more, leaving the IT team to tackle strategic business projects instead. Additionally, with the implementation of cloud solutions, a business’ IT staff can refocus their objectives and plan new ones around Big Data analytics. With the right IT team in place, this data can be read and translated into new strategic business plans.
By using the cloud to remove monotonous day-to-day management of systems that was the traditional responsibility of IT, these teams can focus their efforts on new business strategies, including application roll-outs, revised procedures, and more. The CIO can support business growth without making expensive, timely, inefficient changes to the current setup.
CFO Priorities: “Save me money!”
A CFO really just wants to see the numbers. “What will it cost, and what will it save me?” CFOs are sick of the constant costs of licenses, annual maintenance and upgrades. Moving to the affordable OpEx model preserves the budget while delivering what the business needs, when it needs it. Additionally, businesses tend to experience changes in demand throughout the year, and the cloud can address these changes because it’s extremely scalable. Resources can be added or reduced as necessary, which keeps the CFO, team and budget in sync with every business cycle. Due to this scalability and cost efficiency, businesses will quickly experience shorter development cycles, making it easier to move forwards. Innovation will quickly become a new focus.
CEO Priorities: “Achieve our business goals and meet all business demands!”
The CEO really cares about goal achievement and meeting business demands when it comes to business solutions. They want to know that strategies and goals are being met and exceeded, and cloud computing can ensure this. A CEO wants to keep up with technology and see business efficiency. The cloud allows a business to implement changes quickly and reduce time spent by employees on manual implementations or installations. Additionally, a CEO is aware of the business budget and will appreciate the predictable costs of the cloud. The cloud also keeps data secure, which is another priority of the highest-level executive. With the cloud, CEOs will find they can solve business problems thanks to cloud benefits like efficiency, scalability, meeting sales demand and customer requirements, and more.
Do you have any tips to add for talking to a business’ C-Suite about cloud computing? Let us know in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you.