Microsoft partners continue to ask me questions about where their business fits in the cloud, and I think that’s a great sign. Asking questions is essential to growth, and our most successful partners ask lots of them because they aren’t selling products or services…they are selling customer-focused solutions.

I’m excited about a new wave of data and resources that can assist you in making the important decisions about whether to integrate a cloud offering into your business. You’re familiar with the “five W’s”: Who, What, Where, When, and Why? Let’s use them to explore recent and upcoming news and perspectives, including findings from a recent IDC study on the cloud’s business and economic impact.
  • Who? You! Microsoft partners already possess skills that are transferable to the emerging cloud world. If you’ve wondered how your specific skills may translate into a cloud world, I urge you to read Cloud Computing: What IT Professionals Need to Know, a new Microsoft whitepaper exploring the evolution of technical job roles for the cloud.
  • CloudJobCreation.pngWhat? If you’re convinced of the business potential in cloud computing, what’s next? Prepare for certification and test and refine new skills and knowledge utilizing our cloud certification tools, materials, and planning resources.
  • Where? The IDC research points to which industries and business types are more likely to move to the cloud, which means you gain insight into where the revenue opportunity lies. For example, securities and investment services will lead cloud adoption, while banking will trend at the average. This is due to industry regulation and greater concerns over privacy and security. Banking, like other, more conservative industries, will balance investments in private cloud solutions.
  • When? Later this week, Microsoft Learning will release the Cloud 101 Jump Start, a free learning experience for executives and organizational leaders who want to hold strategic conversations about what the cloud means to their businesses. Consider taking advantage of this to strengthen your customer conversations about the cloud.
  • Why? Still not sure if the cloud means money for your business? The IDC study provides cues that it absolutely can. According to the study, the U.S. accounted for 62% of worldwide spending for public IT cloud services last year, compared to 35% of worldwide IT spending. The study also reveals that by the end of 2015, the cloud will have created nearly 14 million jobs worldwide, meaning that your marketplace is truly not limited by geography.
I realize that many of you have questions about how your business fits into the cloud marketplace, and how the cloud fits into your customers’ worlds. Explore the above resources and let them guide you toward building more strategic customer relationships, and continue to ask me your questions around cloud services and trends on Twitter @Jenni_Flinders. My goal is to help you arrive at the right answer for your business.
Jenni Flinders

Microsoft Vice President, U.S. Partner Strategy and Programs