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Whoa…we’re halfway there, and opportunities await if you’re a cloud player

The future is the cloud and Jennifer Warawa, EVP of Partners, Accountants, and Alliances at Sage, has noted that the channel is already on the road to the future

Chances are, if you are in the software business, you’re either a die-hard cloud groupie or are working towards the sweet sound of operational efficiency and optimised enterprise functions that this revolutionary technology can offer.

Recent research conducted by IDC and commissioned by Sage found that channel partners consider themselves half way (51%) along the journey to becoming cloud-ready. Whether you’re a glass-half-full or a glass-half-empty kind of person, you’ll agree that there is still work to be done and there needs to be a dedicated focus to help get end users over this digital line.

I’ll take any excuse to reference a rock anthem, but Bon Jovi’s famous, “Livin' on a Prayer” has particular relevance at this juncture. Not just for the “halfway there” lyric, but because of the two central characters in the song – Tommy and Gina.

Tommy works on the docks – a tough industry and he is down on his luck. There are new complications to Tommy’s business including increasing maintenance costs, asset tracking and forthcoming fluctuations to import export duties. Tommy’s business is getting more complex, not simpler, and clear strategic decisions can only be made with accurate and actionable data at management’s fingertips. The benefit of cloud technology is clear – to evaluate risks and monitor performance with real-time business intelligence.

Then we have Gina. She is working in a diner all day. Her story is a familiar one, and the hospitality and leisure industries are full of small businesses looking to provide their customers with a happy and wholesome experience while making a successful business along the way. I am reminded of one such business in particular – Geckosurfhouse in Portugal. The founder, Eduardo Caperta, set-up that business to share his enthusiasm for surfing with customers on the Costa da Caparica, after 22 years of working at a bank. To fulfil that mission though, also means keeping an eye on costs and of course a fair amount of paperwork along the way. So a tool to help on those fronts, means Eduardo can end the day catching waves at the beach, not working all night too manually looking through invoices.

In Bon Jovi’s song, Gina dreams of running away, but in 1986 when the track was released, there was not the wealth of technology solutions that we have today to help businesses of all sizes run more efficiently, focus on their customers and grow.

Hitting the Right Tune

But why is being cloud-ready so vital for channel partners?? Well, 66% of channel partners surveyed believe that cloud enables them to have a more predictable recurring revenue stream and 58% believe SaaS opens doors and gets them into new accounts, and improves the rate of new customer acquisition. Channel partners are in agreement that top business metrics are believed to be positively affected by offering cloud services; growth, gross margin and repeat business from existing clients. These are the metrics that will help to keep our businesses at the forefront of a competitive market and sustain long term growth.

Just as a great song is more than just lyrics, a great business is more than just software. Our  research also shows that channel partners who have invested in cloud sales people, technical people and services achieve the highest profit margins. Try running a business without great people and you’ll find, you’re only halfway there. That is why it is essential that all businesses get the opportunity to accelerate with the help of cloud technology.

Following from our ‘The Future is The Cloud’ research, Margaret Adam, Program Director at IDC, explained that cloud software is growing at five and a half times more than traditional software. It’s increasingly the key delivery method for broader digital transformation and therefore must be seen as the centre of industry growth.

The cloud represents a big opportunity, and we are only at the beginning of the journey. But if we embrace the change, disrupt our traditional methods to meet the demands of the market, we can expect to see a full-bodied, bass-booming crescendo for business growth. 

Every Cloud…

It’s predicted that by 2020, 70% of all software will be provided in the cloud. Sage, want to bring their partners on this journey so they too can reap the rewards that are already being seen by cloud-ready channel partners.. At Sage, we’re working to take them to a world where admin is minimal, freeing them to spend time on the tasks that help them grow and thrive.

Yes- we’ve got to celebrate and hold on to what we’ve got – channel partners are halfway to having ‘cloud ready’ operations – but this absolutely makes a difference to end business customers. As an industry, we want to ensure that as many businesses make it as possible. We live for the fight.

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