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How to Market the Cloud

by Joshua Shane  |  
January 28, 2011

In this article, you'll learn...

  • How tech marketers can calm the fears of potential cloud computing adopters
  • Five benefits of embracing the cloud computing model

Although cloud computing depends on ever-evolving technology, it is a revolutionary operational model that is changing the way information technology (IT) is managed and delivered.

Despite that disruption, companies are beginning to see the benefits—or, at least, trying to plan for the inevitable transition to the cloud—which is, essentially, a metaphor for the Internet.

Successfully marketing the cloud requires understanding the nature of this new technology and taking new approaches to communicating its benefits to prospects.

The fast growth of cloud computing is causing organizations to seriously consider what it could mean for their business. They are trying to understand the cloud model and how it could affect their company, customers, vendors, and service providers.

Cloud Computing: What's the Big Deal?

Everyone loves the idea of the cloud. Imagine this utility model: You pay only for what you use; data, platforms, and IT systems are situated offsite; and system management is handled by someone else—ready to be tapped into, as needed. The cloud model is liberating: Companies can now focus on their core business strengths and differentiation.

In addition, the economic model means the cloud is here to stay. A recent study found that the cost savings of cloud infrastructure relative to midsize companies is better than a factor of seven across hardware, facilities, and personnel. Such clear financial incentives mean that everyone has to reconcile with the cloud-based IT future and figure out how to best harness its capability.

Even at this early stage of cloud adoption, the enterprise will change as the business, revenue, and service models of almost every player in the IT delivery chain adjusts. As cloud marketers, we must explain the landscape of change, and the opportunities presented, so customers can see the benefits and move beyond the fear of the unknown.

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Joshua Shane is the VP of business development and strategy at Viewstream, a national agency focused exclusively on technology companies that deliver complex solutions. Reach him via

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  • by Danny Naz - Naz Creative Fri Jan 28, 2011 via web

    The cloud is and will continue to revolutionize how we interact with data on a daily basis, whether is be kids playing Microsoft's Xbox or how my company uses DropBox at our studio. It's a game changer.

  • by Michael Perla Fri Jan 28, 2011 via web

    A good synopsis around the cloud. I do think security is a significant concern, but it's also clear that all cloud providers aren't created equal around it ... there are some with redundant data centers, multiple layers of security, all sorts of mirroring and fail-over, etc. ... and there are others that have none of that ... there are some cloud providers that significantly mitigate risk - more so than on-premise - while others only increase the risk. Hard to generalize given the breadth of maturity and resources of the providers (e.g., Amazon, Google, vs. a new startup with few resources).

    Also, there are some cloud providers who basically lock you into a year contract w/ certain stips and it's not really "utility" computing at that point - others will offer much more flexibility on usage changes over weeks/months. Like most delivery or operational models, there is a bell curve around value, performance and risk - know what you are getting and the SLA wrap - if there is one.

  • by Tim Redpath Sat Jan 29, 2011 via web

    Thanks Joshua,
    Perhaps under "Communicating the Cloud to Your Prospects" there should be a fourth option - I get it but I don't trust anyone else with my data.

    Organizations may not realize that they are already in the cloud with tools like and in my experience the marketing approach is not to try and get them to migrate their whole IT department to the cloud, but to work with them on specific applications where it makes sense to them. Then, when they can assess the value and risk, they may be ready to migrate more applications and data.

    Just a thought.

  • by Stephanie Janard Mon Jan 31, 2011 via web

    Joshua, this is a very timely article for me. I've definitely seen an increase in the number of cloud technology/managed services copywriting projects come my way.

    You are right that fear of relinquishing control/compromising security is a primary sales barrier for this technology. And of course, the idea of making a major shift in operational strategy.

    To address the latter fear, you give some good benefits to use. I would add one to address the former fear: emphasizing how cloud technology can actually reduce data backup failure rates, and keep anti-malware efforts even more up to date (especially for distributed businesses). Just to name a couple of security benefits.

  • by Stephanie Janard Mon Jan 31, 2011 via web

    And I like Tim's suggestion, too...this definitely doesn't have to be marketed as an all or nothing proposition. Which you actually address in the article when you talk about the paying only for what you need aspect of cloud services.

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