“If you build it they will come”.
The old adage that was successful for Kevin Costner in ‘Field of Dreams’, may not necessarily be the best advice for IT organizations looking to break into cloud computing. Careful consideration must be given to leveraging pre-existing cloud infrastructure and creating a solid partnership with an existing infrastructure provider.
What makes a partnership successful?
- Great partnerships are not based solely on technology, but just as importantly, the people on both sides
- Trust is the most valuable asset – needs must be managed and expectations addressed on both sides
- Common goals and shared vision are important and should be set out, decided upon, and measured
- Open lines of communications: not only for discussions around costs and new projects, but also for accountability, disagreements, and debate
When it makes sense
Most of us have heard the product and business development mantra; “Should we build, buy or partner?” (As buying entails a blog on its own, we will focus on the build or partner scenarios)
This is the part where the rose colored glasses should be taken off and the business on the whole is scrutinized. Does it make sense to focus on what your organization does well rather than embarking on a costly and deviating exercise that your organization may or may not have resources, expertise or existing synergies to launch?
It’s not a well-kept secret that typical environments are characterized by complex and costly product development cycles. Realities emerge, realizing lack of committed resources and expertise among all functional stakeholders who are vital to the process. Stagnate or existing growth projections prohibiting the capital or operational spend on new infrastructure required for new service platforms.
As cited at the onset, partnerships do require a set of fundamental ingredients to make the venture successful. Along with the above mentioned people and cultural fits would be the underlining synergies in the proposed extension of a new service or product. Would the partnership effectively be an extension of your existing service breadth or team? Will it add value to your existing client base? Is there a joint commitment on costs and going to market? Just a snapshot of the criteria to consider in making the decision and picking the right partner. Once confirmed though, look out, the benefits are quite compelling.
Speed to market (and revenue stream)
Focus on going to market and fulfillment displaces the traditional level of effort and costs associated with internal development. In relation to cloud based infrastructure, the right partner would enable your organization to launch a fully provisional and geographically redundant solution from day 1.
Regarding barriers to entry, tiered Partnership Levels are commonly designed to fit your specific needs and level of successful entry. Building a grow as you go type environment, scalable to ensure a more prudent means of market approach.
True partnerships include reciprocal commitments in back end support and more importantly, front end market penetration a successful partner strategy includes joint tactical marketing and sales initiatives geared to both market awareness and Lead Generation.
As partnerships progress and teams start to effectively and efficiently work together, opportunities start becoming more apparent. For instance, the ability to brainstorm and execute on new co-developed offerings become less onerous and more targeted.