5 cloud related things businesses have on their minds

5 cloud related things businesses have on their minds

Ken Johnson, Head of Product Strategy

Ken Johnson, Head of Product Strategy

According to Forbes, Cloud migration is the number one enterprise tech trend for 2017 and businesses are increasingly turning to the cloud for critical business IT usage. This is supported by research from Ovum showing as many as 80 percent of businesses will be cloud-dependent by 2019. That means 1.5 million UK firms will be moving to the cloud in the next two years.

We discussed cloud adoption with some of our Partners at our recent Partner Summit and put together the top 5 cloud related issues businesses have on their minds.

1. The cloud is already main stream… but….
There is still a long way to go with cloud uptake, as showcased by the stats in the paragraph above. What’s also interesting is the awareness of what cloud actually is. When we recently spoke to British SMEs and when we asked them about cloud services less than half said they actually use them. However, when we described specific cloud services by name (like Dropbox or Office 365 for example) nearly three quarters recognised and used those services.

The cloud is a firm part of the business landscape which means the industry focus needs to move to providing reliable connectivity to enable cloud services, as well as the services to guide and manage customer migrations. So what else needs to be considered in the move to the cloud?

2. Application performance is everything
Some of the most common tools associated with the cloud are digital storage and data back-up, which are incremental and don’t rely on constant connectivity to function. However, as voice traffic, document sharing and collaboration tools accelerate their move over to more cloud based systems, the end user will expect the experience to be at least as reliable, high quality and fit for purpose as their previous system.

It is simply not acceptable if the application is slow or drops out in the middle of a conference call. As such, networks need to be able to handle peaks in usage and mission critical apps need their traffic prioritised.

We discussed this at Partner Summit, specifically how re-sellers can help customers achieve this through the use of VLAN, to provide multi-service segregation of application traffic. In this way, important voice traffic can be prioritised, whilst staff watching cat videos over lunch…. well not so much.

3. Security is vital
Data security is important for businesses, something we are continuously working on at TalkTalk Business. When it comes to the cloud, providing customers with a private access cloud solution can provide peace of mind to go along with the benefits of using cloud services, but it can be expensive.

Security is a classic example of the added-value you can provide to end customers. The reality is that it’s a consultation approach to find the right blend of Public, Private and Hybrid capabilities for each customer, and the opportunity to add in additional services is an ever-present opportunity to make more margin.

4. Keep it simple, please
One of the potentially confusing aspects of the cloud services marketplace is the sheer volume of solutions available. By providing expert insight into the raft of cloud services at the best price, you can help your customers navigate the complex landscape.

Of course, decisions are easier to make if there is appropriate business intelligence to support them. One of TalkTalk Business significant investment projects will come to fruition over the coming months to help you enormously in this area. Enhanced network monitoring capabilities that are being rolled out to our portals will let you identify customer pain points, and show them to your customer’s with the evidence to hand. This intelligence can assist the business case for additional network investment.

5. Value
Bringing more data and voice services into the cloud can provide tangible benefits for businesses, but there is also the balance to find between CapEx and OpEx solutions, private and public networks.
What’s clear is that with more business critical services being moved to the cloud, the connectivity matters less than the experience. So in what may become a race to the bottom at a product level, resellers can offer the best value through better SLA’s and a superior customer experience.

 

TalkTalk Business can help you and your customer’s on this journey by providing ‘Cloud Ready’ connectivity. You get the assurance of a national provider with a core reliability of 99.95 percent, as well as a provider that’s innovating connectivity services for the cloud. For example, we can provide multi-service segregation on our connectivity at no extra cost, so that you can work with your customer and prioritise the traffic on their critical applications. Get in touch with your Account Manager if this isn’t familiar to you.

 

So in summary, whilst ‘Cloud’ may be a terminology we in the industry have seen for years, the reality is that it’s only now reaching maturity in the UK market, and there is a growing opportunity. This opportunity is not only products but also services - in a recent survey of our SME customers TalkTalk Business found that only 3 percent felt comfortable managing their cloud migration directly, and the experience and customer service is the big opportunity for you to differentiate yourself.

If you want more information about what TalkTalk Business is doing in this area feel free to drop me an email at ken.johnson@talktalkbusiness.co.uk