With cloud adoption predicted to continue its significant growth curve through 2021, you know the question is not rsquo;ifrdquo; customers will make the leap, but when, how and who will lead their journey to the cloud. Fortunately, VMware partners are uniquely positioned with innovative software and service offerings to support customers along this trajectory.
Herersquo;s a look at four factors driving explosive growth, including points to consider when guiding your customers to, through and beyond, their cloud transformations:
1. Business Agility and Flexibility Drive Cloud Adoption and Modernization
Business agility is an organizationrsquo;s rsquo;ability to renew itself, adapt, change quickly, and succeed in a rapidly changing, ambiguous, turbulent environment.rdquo; Today, agility equals faster time-to-market via reduced IT complexity, quicker deployments, pay-as-you-go pricing, and scalability; all of which map to private and public cloud adoption. In fact, 41% of companies embracing cloud computing say that agility is their primary business driver. 
Whatrsquo;s more, many customers are looking to hybrid cloud capabilities with a mix of on and off-premises resources to achieve business agility and flexibility. But still, most of their data centers arenrsquo;t adequately modernized to extend to the public cloud. This is where partners can step in and support modernization through implementation of fully virtualized, automated, software-defined data centers (SDDC).
2. Cloud Drives a Shifting Economic Model
The public cloud has long promised cost savings and a shifting economic model; however, there are compelling arguments for both the private and public cloud. In a recent Accenture report, organizations saved upwards of $28M after migrating 70% of their application portfolio to the public cloud. While it seems this staggering metric paints a compelling picture; 41% of IT decision-makers say that private cloud can be less expensive than public cloud for some businesses. Legacy applications, privacy and security regulations, and SLAs play a part in cost savings as well as viability, and there are several other aspects to explore when choosing private, public or hybrid cloud.
Regardless, help your customer make smart decisions by considering these cost saving factors that result from extending to the public cloud:
- Reduced Data Center costs: With increased storage and server density, organizations can lower costs associated with physically housing servers. Add to this, cloud service providers charge less for electrical and cooling as compared to in-house data center maintenance fees.
- Increased Personnel Efficiency: On-premises technologies managed by IT resources are one of the largest operating expenses. As workloads move to the cloud, customers can utilize IT staff in more strategic areas in their businesses.
- Shifting CapEx costs: Upfront investments (CapEx) for servers is eliminated and shifted to IT OpEx, which helps maintain a lean balance sheet and may be more palatable for smaller businesses.
- Lower Downtime costs: Cloud Service Providers monitor and maintain availability, which results in fewer business interruptions for customers.
3. Cloud Computing = Predictable Revenue + New Revenue Streams
As we already know, customers and VMware partners alike can reap the benefits of cloud computing through subscription pricing models. But beyond the predictable, steady earnings that these services deliver, partners can create new revenue streams that develop as an offshoot of extending to the public cloud, such as:
- On-going support
- Analytics and continuous improvement
- VM provisioning and decommissioning
- Backup and recovery
Whatrsquo;s more, continuous revenue is a direct result of sustaining customer relationships. Guiding migration strategies that align customer goals with yours sets customers on a course to success. Likewise, working with your customers to leverage their existing investment in technologies, people and skill sets adds value to your relationships.
4. Customer Experience is King
Customer Experience (CX) is rsquo;the practice of designing and reacting to customer interactions to meet or exceed customer expectations and, thus, increase customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy.rdquo; In cloud computing, CX plays a central role due to a larger emphasis on services and also fierce competition.
You might be surprised to find that CX is a hidden opportunity for channel partners to set themselves apart from the competition. As you focus on a customer-centric approach, you will build long-term relationships and grow your reputation as a trusted advisor.
Of course, great CX begins with creating a strategy for the future and itrsquo;s impossible to improve if you donrsquo;t know where you stand. To get started with measuring the health of your brand, utilize Net Promoter Score (NPS), which is a powerful tool for gauging loyalty and relationships.
Be sure to participate at this yearrsquo;s Partner Exchange to learn more on how you can help your customers transition to the cloud, while solidifying your role as a trusted advisor.
 Gartner, Gartner says by 2020, a Corporate rsquo;No-Cloudrdquo; Policy will be as Rare as a rsquo;No-Internetrdquo; Policy is Today, http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3354117
 McKinsey&Company, The Keys to Organizational Agility, http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/the-keys-to-organizational-agility
 CIO.com, Business Agility Drives Cloud Adoption, http://www.cio.com/article/2455960/cloud-computing/cloud-computing-business-agility-drives-cloud-adoption.html
 Accenture, CIOs: Exemplify cloud value with C-suite business case, https://www.accenture.com/us-en/blogs/blogs-cloud-migration-value
 Gartner, Customer Experience Management, http://www.gartner.com/it-glossary/customer-experience-management-cem
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