Staying ahead of the CSP game

Designing a game plan to meet your customers’ future needs.

To make a great catch, you move to where the ball is going as opposed to where it is. The same goes for customers. Supporting their needs now is fundamental, but knowing what they will want in the future is vital to retaining custom. This is particularly crucial in the competitive cloud services environment. You need to adapt your cloud services to support your customers’ future needs and demands, otherwise you will struggle to remain relevant and competitive.

So how do you stay ahead of the game? Here are the three key infrastructure advancements to consider.

"Organizations are investing significantly in cloud-based infrastructure, applications and value-added services, as well as emerging technologies such as data analytics and sensor-based technologies."

— Csilla Zsigri,
analyst, 451 Research

Hybrid Is on a Home Run
As companies mature, their needs become more complex and more diverse. For many businesses, using one cloud environment is no longer a satisfactory solution. Different projects and different enterprise needs mean that businesses use multiple cloud environments depending on what works best for the task at hand. It’s not surprising, therefore, that 66.4 percent of respondents in 451 Research’s report anticipated that they would be using multiple clouds within the next two years.

To support these multiple clouds, however, IT managers need to be able to manage and secure them, ideally from one dashboard. Additionally, multiple clouds mean an increase in data migration demands; responding to these complex and expensive demands is still predominantly the responsibility of in-house staff. Seamless delivery of a single business function across multiple cloud environments remains a challenge for most businesses, but it still remains the ideal and dictates the direction of travel for enterprise cloud adoption.

In the face of this challenging environment, anything you can do to support your customers with their multiple cloud framework will put your customers in a favorable position. That support could come in the form of helping to devise multi-cloud strategies, or identifying the best execution venues for specific workloads, or even assisting with the migration of data. Giving your future customers guidance and building a trusted advisor relationship will put you ahead of the competition. 

Added-Value Is a Power Hitter
Organizations are constantly seeking to meet their business needs in a way that is agile, cost-efficient, and secure. One key way that they achieve this is through purchasing hosting and cloud managed services, bringing in technical experts from the outside to allow them to concentrate on their main goals as a business, rather than having to support services like payroll or accounts payable applications.

Even over just the next two years, businesses expect their spending on value-added services to double (from 11 percent to 23 percent). Diversifying your offering to reflect the changing spending patterns of your customers could help you to expand your customer base, both with new organizations and existing customers. New services should complement your existing strengths: for example, offering security services for email workloads, or application services for ERP.

Ultimately, the world of cloud services is entering a period of unprecedented change. To stay relevant, you need to evolve with it. You need to become not just a service provider for your customers, but a consultant that can guide them through their transition to the cloud. And to do that, you need to keep your eye on the ball.

Want To Find Out More About Your Future Customer?

Read more strategic insight in the 451 Research report Cloud Service Providers: Meet Your Future Customer, and discover where you need to be.