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How will you be selling cloud services to businesses in 2020?

In 2017, UK cloud adoption had already hit 88%, according to research by the Cloud Industry Forum. By ‘cloud adoption’, we mean that those businesses were using the cloud in some way, whether through the use of cloud software, platforms, or infrastructure. The same research found 67% of businesses were expecting their cloud adoption to increase in 2018.

Based on these figures, it’s safe to assume that by 2020, cloud adoption will have reached (almost) every business. The rate of that adoption is likely to vary across different sectors, with many companies bound to have combined cloud and legacy IT estates for some time – which is where the opportunity for you as a channel partner will sit.

Pinpointing the unique advantages of voice, mobile, data, and cloud solutions for businesses at different stages of cloud migration will be key for channel resellers. The needs of companies at early stages of adoption will be more pressing, as they risk being left behind. All the while, companies further along in their cloud migration journeys will be looking for new ways to drive efficiencies and opportunities to reduce costs.The challenges to cloud migration

Challenges to cloud migration within the public sector are most noticeable. Recent spending cuts and tighter budgets have made digital transformation tricky to execute. What’s more, many public sector organisations are large and complex, having been developed over several years and their reliance on legacy technology being a significant barrier to cloud adoption.

Let’s not forget that the UK government itself launched its strategy to become ‘digital by default’ all the way back in 2012. Recently, the Government released an additional Transformation Strategy paper detailing the progress that’s been made so far, outlining the Government’s key aims around digitisation between now and 2020. In particular, the paper highlights the need to achieve ‘joined up services’ so that data can flow faster and seamlessly between Government departments. As citizens feel the effects of digital transformation elsewhere in their everyday and working lives – and their expectations evolve, it’s safe to say that this need will only become greater.

The public sector is a prime example of the challenges to cloud migration brought about by legacy IT estates, but it’s certainly not unique. Many other businesses will be facing this same challenge. It will be interesting to see how far they’ve come by 2020. Where gaps to cloud migration remain, there will be an opportunity for channel partners to help businesses reach a more joined-up state of adoption.

The rise of remote working

As remote working becomes more common, in tandem with the rise of mobile technology, businesses will need to adopt solutions that support it. As The Telegraph highlights, we’re ‘waltzing into a new era of hypermobility: the anywhere office’, which is why businesses must invest in the solutions that will empower employees to be as productive and connected as possible, wherever they may be.

An increasingly strong selling point for channel partners will be the fixed and mobile capabilities of a cloud-hosted telephony solution, which goes hand-in-hand with the rise of remote working. It empowers employees to communicate with customers and each other more seamlessly than ever – not to mention the fact that it’s a solution that’s quick to deploy and requires minimal capital outlay, making it highly cost-effective.

The need for always-on connectivity

Along with the rise of remote working, comes the need for constant connectivity – and the subsequent need for a data services solution that is capable of supporting it. Businesses are operating in an increasingly global marketplace and by 2020, we can only assume that round-the-clock connectivity will continue to be key in remaining competitive and sustaining business growth.

The opportunity for channel partners will be in offering resilient data services solutions that enhance their clients’ products, services, and day-to-day operations. Being able to offer business-only broadband, for example, is one way in which you can truly set yourself apart from the competition, offering your clients the bandwidth they need to truly succeed in the cloud.