Using the cloud for business is still an unknown frontier for many businesses. Regardless of their size or the markets they operate in, very few organizations understand the cloud well enough to leverage it to their advantage. That may also explain why IT providers run into so many objections relating to its security. People don’t trust what they can’t see, especially with data breaches jumping onto the priority list of most managers and owners.
Successfully selling cloud services starts with understanding your clients’ needs as well as addressing their concerns. Until they turn to you and ask for advice on whether cloud is an option for them, you’ll be playing catchup in the “trusted advisor” game. Cloud is a very hard concept for lay people. Sadly, the term is used so generically that it becomes part of the objection.
The Issues Of Information Assurance And Compliance
Compliance issues and concerns such as not knowing where a company’s data actually resides often adds days if not weeks to the sales cycle. Suddenly you’re addressing concerns that were seldom (perhaps never) raised about their current information threats and vulnerabilities. Once the word “cloud” enters the discussion, concern for information protection becomes a big deal. Go figure.
In the cloud, client information can be spread across dozens of servers around the globe. Even in a “private cloud,” where the data is easier to keep track of, solution providers have to have clear and concise explanations ready before they can count on consistent deal flow. Often what seems like an objection is lack of information, and we all know that a confused mind makes no decisions. Customers are scared of the unknown. When you consider the complexity, such as public versus private cloud or is the equipment in a colocation site or in someone else’s data center (or their basement), it’s no wonder business owners need to understand what they are buying.
There are three things to do:
The Issues Of Availability, Recoverability And Redundancy
While ambiguity about the meaning of “cloud” is a hang up for many businesses, security and redundancy remain the top two objections solution providers have to overcome when selling virtual services. I’m going to pause here and geek out a bit.
Data Security is a very specific term that addresses three things: confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Providing security means you provide all three of these simultaneously. There is no “security fix.” There are only these three outcomes from a well-designed and executed security program and you must have all of them or you have secured nothing.
Regardless of the vertical markets an organization serves or the number of people they employ, your clients need to know where their data is and what measures are in place to secure it.
There are five things to do:
This straightforward approach may not solve every concern, but it will go a long way towards earning the trust of new and keeping the trust of existing clients. Along with respected industry business credentials and clear lines of communication, the list of objections should diminish considerably.
Suppliers with a CompTIA Cloud Trustmark+ have made a commitment to those standards, ensuring that security protections, redundancy, disaster recovery, and a host of other measures are firmly in place. That’s as close of a guarantee as solution providers can get from their vendors, a business practice credential backed by the IT industry association, vetted by an experienced third-party professional. With many business clients and solution wanting to know how their vendors’ cloud solutions are secured, the Trustmark makes perfect sense. It reduces the fear and mystery of what happens behind the scenes, and offers a level of comfort to all involved.
In addition to encouraging your vendor partners to seek Cloud Trustmark+ and seeking a Security Trustmark+ credential for your own business, what else can you do to overcome cloud objections with your clients?