Whenever there is a new technology people largely fall into two camps.
There are the advocates, the vocal proponents and supporters. These aren’t just the people who can see the potential and adopt the new technology – they are the ones that tweet about it, bore you into a corner at parties and enthusiastically convince you of the merits at every given opportunity.
Then there’s the flipside. Those that aren’t just negatively critical but dismiss the entire technology out of hand. They don’t just raise concerns they wonder if the new tech is even “a thing”.
Admittedly, you don’t want to spend a huge amount of time with either side but when it comes to the Cloud the take-up of the new technology amongst businesses of varying sizes illustrates there are more on the positive side than the negative.
But what is the damage caused by the flipside? In their minds the effect of the Cloud, whether real, imagined or otherwise is dismissed along with its potential for change and re-imagining working solutions. Poppycock!
For Hosted Exchange re-sellers this can be a serious problem. How do you explain the Cloud to someone who doesn’t believe it exists? Look at Hewlett Packard and Dell. They’re two giants of the computing world but are struggling to convince their customers about the possibility of Cloud Computing. It’s unlikely every HP customer is a Cloudist but at the same time there’s a block. Is it the process of communication and has the argument for the potential of cloud technology been fully explained yet?
So, what’s the fear?
The things you will hear most frequently is security. Put your data in the cloud and you might as well be printing it onto large sheets of paper and draping them over your office. All your secrets will be out there. Forget secure email filtering for Exchange hosting along with secure archiving, protected data centres and systems in place to remove spam and viruses.
For someone who re-sells Hosted Exchange this can create a real problem. How do you convince someone who simply won’t be convinced?
The best plan, without getting too problem page about it, is to think about why they may be so dismissive of a technology they have never used. The companies that succeed, the ones who lead the way in business and innovation at least give new technology a try. Hey, they might turn round after a trial or a six month experiment and apologise saying it isn’t really for them, but they’ve given it a try.
Is it a fear of new technology that is holding them back? If it is you need to try a different approach. Talk about how their business works, offer to come in and show them the difference it could make face to face. Emphasising the bespoke nature of the Cloud, its ability to be adopted and adapted to any industry can help to show the difference it could make to their business, no one else’s.
Arm yourself with stats. What’s the take-up, what’s the difference it makes to businesses? What is the proven effect of the Cloud. Team those figures with testimonials from customers and it becomes less a sales pitch and more a reflection of the sea-change that is actually occurring.
The risk with the cloud is that it can sound a bit airy fairy. There is a cynic that sits inside all of us. When someone begins to enthuse about a life-changing, business-evolving piece of kit for many of us, and we’re not proud of it, but our instinct is to rubbish and ridicule. We want to prove them wrong. Back up the Cloud argument with the proof and it becomes much harder to adopt that line. Persuade for a trial and at least they can try it out before they dismiss entirely out of hand.