What’s In It For Me? – The Key Question Companies Ask of Cloud Computing
“What’s in it for me?
I’ve got to ask,
If it’s only more tears
Then I’ll have to pass.
If you’ll open up
Then I can see,
Deep in your heart
What’s in it for me?”
- John Berry, American country singer and songwriter.
The key to selling anything – a product, a service, an idea – is the ability to convincingly answer the one question every customer has on his or her or its (if you are selling to an organization or company) mind – “What’s in it for me?” Since cloud computing embraces all three – product, service and idea – and is looking for buy-in from different stakeholders, the above maxim applied to it as well.
In an earlier article, I had approached this issue from the customer’s point of view (See: Which Cloud Computing Quality Works For You? ). Now, in this article, I am looking at the same issue from a different perspective, the service provider’s. In other words, I am trying to determine how best the service provider would answer the question posed at the beginning of this article.
One obvious answer is to elaborate on the benefits of cloud computing and let the customer decide what works best. As per the results of two recent surveys, this may not be a bad idea after all. I had already covered one in an earlier article (See: Do You Know What Cloud Computing Is?), and will now mention the other.
Titled the Future of Cloud Computing Survey and conducted by the GigaOM Pro and The 451 Group, supported by more than 30 industry collaborators, this survey had 413 respondents both from the service provider and end user communities, and demonstrated the lack of clarity in the field. As Derrick Harris, senior analyst and curator, GigaOM Pro, said, “Cloud computing is a multibillion-dollar industry today, but many companies are still unclear on which technologies they need, how they work together, who the main vendors are and how to implement cloud technologies effectively.”
The same idea was forcefully presented by Amazon CTO Werner Vogels at the State of the Cloud address at GigaOm’s Structure conference in San Francisco last week. He asserted that “the cloud has nothing to do with technology,” but “is defined by all its benefits.” And it is these benefits that must be presented clearly by the service providers in order to sell their products and services.
In conclusion, what cloud computing service providers need to realize is this – they can throw around technical terms like latency and throughput, but what will close a sale is the ability to present tangible benefits whether in terms of costs, efficiencies, etc.; or in other words, the ability to convincingly answer the customer’s question “What’s in it for me?”
By Sourya Biswas