Ask Me Anything: 10 Answers to Questions from Software Companies About their Cloud Journey (Part 1)
For many Software Companies that I have met with in the past months, the journey to a Cloud-first business is still unclear. We hear about the Cloud every day, but that doesn’t mean that they know exactly what to do to start reaping the benefits of running their software business in the Cloud.
When I was reflecting on the questions that Software Companies have asked my colleagues and I the most, I was able to quickly recognize many recurring ones. We distilled them down to 10 questions and think them worthy of sharing with you. Here are our first 5 most asked questions from Software companies and our answers to them. Stay tuned for the other 5 – we will publish them next week!
1. What does digital transformation look like for my business?
Big developments don’t come without big dedication. Changing the scope and scalability of your software business won’t come over night, but the rewards of investing in transforming your business for the digital landscape of the future will be seen immediately.
For example, digital transformation can also encompass Continuous Development, which allows companies to speed up their time-to-market when rolling out applications. With Cloud Applications it’s also easier to run beta-trials before a full launch, allowing companies to not only shorten the development time, but make sure they’re perfect when they officially launch.
Digital transformation is not just about changing technology or code, it’s about finding ways to make users interact with the technology. Finding ways to deliver adoption services so that customers know that there are new features available, and how to use those features, is easier for a modern business. Digital transformation means not just using technology but utilizing it. Moving to the Cloud results in a smarter, more scalable business that can use data in more rewarding ways. With Cloud and subscription-based models, vendors can add new functionalities to keep the software and applications engaging and exciting for their customers.
2. How do I get started?
Working with an experienced, strategic software as a service provider to develop your Cloud journey road map is a certain path to success in the Cloud journey. One of the great things about the Cloud and subscription-based deployments is the flexibility; not only of what partners can offer to their customers, but how they can gradually transform as well. Every business has its own unique solution, so it is important to make sure you are choosing the correct path from development to growth. Partners benefit from this flexibility by the ability to migrate traditional-model customers one case at a time, while in parallel shifting sales strategies to Cloud-first and subscription-based models for new customers.
3. How will it benefit my staff?
Technology companies and software vendors have a responsibility to not only their customers, but also their staff members to make sure they stay ahead of the technology curve. When decision makers are conscious of the needs of their customers and their staff, there is no better way to achieve high retention rates. Happy staff ultimately means happier customers. Education and foresight are essential to success in the digital world, and making it a priority to educate your staff and make big digital decisions to propel the company into the future are key. Innovation and digital transformation provide opportunities in all aspects of business.
4. How do we pay for the cloud infrastructure?
Cloud-first offerings, applications based in the Public Cloud, and software subscription models are all based on pay per use, shifting investments from CAPEX to OPEX. All Public Clouds accommodate automatic credit card billing but this can pose a big problem once your cloud application really starts to take off and your consumption is growing (fast). A long term, sustainable solution is to pay with invoices, instead of maxing out a company credit card. When opting for Azure, the Microsoft Cloud Service Provider program allows software companies to work with a partner that offers invoice billing to their customers rather than direct credit card billing, along with several other important services.
5. How do I prevent a decrease in revenue?
There is no doubt that a “shift depression” will occur when partners flip their businesses from project-based single sale revenue systems to subscription-based as-a-service recurring revenue models. The way to cross the gap is to have already thought of solutions to make it as small as possible. Luckily for Microsoft partners, there are some solutions readily available to help ease the transition such as hybrid surface solutions and Azure. It’s also helpful to gradually transition into a subscription-based revenue model by adapting a Cloud-first approach for new customers, while phasing the migration to the cloud for existing customers.
Knowing your customers, their problems and how you can solve them with innovative technologies is another way to minimize the impact on revenue. Every customer is a unique case but will give experience and knowledge to partners that will be indispensable for every subsequent customer after that. Becoming a trusted advisor, offering consultancy to your customers and having a trusted advisor of your own is a foolproof way to stay in the action.
It doesn’t end there! Click here to read part two of this blog—there’s still a lot more to be covered! However, if you have any questions that need to be answered in the meantime, feel free to contact us by clicking the button below.