The cloud holds tremendous potential for innovation and differentiation – and therefore profitability. As partners in growth, we would like to empower you with the right tools and insights to drive profit from this opportunity.

Having collected tons of data on cloud opportunity, customer trends, digital transformation, and innovation accelerators, we’ve launched Part 1 in the Microsoft Modern Partner eBook series: The Booming Cloud Opportunity. This book includes tons of great information that will help you identify growth opportunities for your business and understand customer cloud maturity trends and needs. Our objective for this research was to put out foundational data regarding the cloud opportunity, customer trends, and emerging opportunities and dwell on what it takes for partners to build a profitable, sustainable cloud business.

Meet the modern customer

Practically every customer is either deploying or evaluating cloud technology. Broader cloud market—including hardware, software, and services (professional and managed services) surrounding cloud technology—will grow – both in scale and in depth!

As technology is woven more and more into the fabric of society, businesses are changing how they approach IT, and our partners are responding to new challenges in novel and innovative ways. When it comes to the changing world of IT, the cloud has become a primary driver for business transformation and customers are in the driver’s seat.

Three things IDC & Microsoft research tells us about today’s modern customer

1. According to IDC, the greater cloud opportunity will exceed $500 billion by 2020.
2. 80% of customers worldwide are actively deploying or embracing cloud, and 45 percent of customers expect to be at the highest level of cloud maturity within two years.
3. 61% of projects are funded by line of business decision makers, and 81 percent of projects are influenced by them.

Two powerful ways to use digital in the new dynamic

Differentiate to stand out

Differentiation is key to standing out in a competitive cloud marketplace. Partners are differentiating their businesses by targeting verticals or industries, establishing a technology specialization and building intellectual property. The new dynamic will see specialists gain advantages over generalists. Successful players will be masters in a technology, or a vertical, or a business process, often regardless of their geography.

Modernize sales and marketing

The research estimates that over 65% of the buying decision-making process is completed online before a customer even talks to a vendor. With this dramatic shift in the customer buying process with the cloud, it is critical that partners invest in modernizing their sales and marketing engines. Leaders, therefore, need to embrace modern techniques to reach customers.