Resellers touting ‘cloud-this’ and ‘cloud-that’ seldom get very far without a door slamming in their face. Often they’ll have forgotten that any process of change requires reassurance. Make customers confident and they’ll buy from you.
Achieving that isn’t about telling them how secure your cloud offering is. First you must remind them how they already depend upon ‘cloud’ for much that they do; how much they trust it without knowing it’s even there.
Putting sensitive data off-site is an unquestioned instinct already. It’s where everyone chooses to broadcast their Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn presence from, store mobile voicemails, access webmail, and consume entertainment services. Are your customers comfortable with that? Yes, it’s so convenient. It’s disarmingly convenient. And anyway, no-one ever vexed them with the knowledge they were putting it ‘in the cloud’, even though, any fool can see, that’s exactly where it is.
Sky TV has made a multi-billion pound business out of providing recurring cloud-based services, and conditioning millions of subscribers to repeatedly upgrade and buy value added premium services on top. Think about it. Think about how much sensitive data they are trusted with. Think about how they deliver those services; where they reside; how they are charged. Customers don’t think about it; they don’t feel they need to. Customers lap up those services because they were sold on convenience, not cloud gibberish. And they’ve since experienced how reassuring that convenience has been. It is not because they were convinced by some complex technical argument about security.
So let’s imagine a guy who picks up both his highly personal and business critical Vodafone voicemails out of the cloud without thinking twice; he’s the same guy who won’t touch Google Docs with a bargepole. Someone needs to rearrange that reassurance for him, and the reseller who does can reap the rewards. (Incidentally – in spite of the recent phone-hacking scandal I would wager than none of the phone networks has lost a single subscriber over the fact that their cloud-based service delivery system was so easily and consistently compromised. Work that one out…)
Here’s some homework: go and find the word ‘cloud’ on Sky TV’s website. Good luck finding anything that isn’t in the ‘weather’ section.