What if the cloud and devices are disruptive?

I recently read this very clever piece of analysis on Marco Arment’s blog, and it connected some dots for me when it comes to building a business on Microsoft’s cloud solutions. It also connected me to my thoughts about Nokia, Lumia and Ericsson’s adventures in mobile devices some years ago. Nokia was the leader in the field, their management and employees did a proper job, but then Nokia basically went out of business, except for the Microsoft adventure with Lumia, something that are also reaching its end.

The question for anyone in IT is how disruptive cloud and devices will be. And a key to that analysis is Big Data in combination with IoT, AI and algorithms – and that’s parts of that is covered in Marco’s text.

If the cloud is truly disruptive, then large consultancies and service providers will run into some serious problems – unless they belong to the lucky few that have built their organisation for the cloud since years ago. To be able to deliver advanced cloud solutions you’ll have to have the architects, developers and managers that understand how to migrate and build hybrid solutions in large scale, repeat that over and over again in a safe manner and do it with a profit. A profit that will have to be maintained over the full lifecycle of the solution.

Very few are there now, and that means that there is a gap that looks like it did for Nokia, Ericsson, RIM versus iPhone/Apple and Android/Google. The danger here is that large IT providers will try to hold on to their current customer base by delaying a transition to the cloud and hence let other build the capacity to deliver advanced cloud solutions.

I care about Microsoft solutions, so my concern is how to get ‘everyone’ on-board Office365 and Azure without destroying the current revenue streams for the current customer base for the consultancies I work for. The answer to that is in most cases that the migration or transition starts with Exchange and then progresses with a hybrid Sharepoint migration. The key to the sales here is to have exact knowledge on licenses and security – no fluffy salesman talk, but expert answers on exact what is applicable for the customer. That requires a certified team that delivers that, and add an SAM-team that investigates current licensing and you have a winning concept – it will distinguish your business from your competitors.

When it comes to new revenue streams and business models in the cloud, you’ll have to break that down on every single customer and solutions and test what works. No matter if it’s about administering large volumes of Office365 seats or define services for a SfB PBX in the cloud or find the revenue in keeping track of devices in the EMS/Intune portal in O365 or build new .NET-based systems in Sharepoint online as Sharepoint apps – they are all very different kind of businesses and they will be provided as a service, but still need attention in order to meet the SLA’s.

I will publish a link here soon, to a text I’ve written that will be published soon. That text is the rest if this story. Stay tuned.

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