Cloud, cloud, it’s all about the cloud. Microsoft Partners say that cloud services are a key growth area over the next 12 months. That may not come as a surprise, but what may be surprising is the figure – a massive 60%.
Content, collaboration and security fight for second and third place with a mere 10% and 8% of the total (see Chart below).
There is always a danger that supply could swamp demand. An overly competitive market will surely put downward pressure on prices as so many Partners compete for cloud business.
Competition for talent could also become an issue; there is a real shortage of experts with cloud skills. A skills shortage could mean salaries and day rates head North, just as fees for cloud projects head South.
What is your key growth area over the next 12 months?
At WPC 2016 in Toronto, Microsoft stated that Partners were realising 20% higher margins than the nearest competitor. Gavriella Schuster, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Group, urged the audience to embrace the cloud:
“Microsoft partners with more than 50 percent of their revenue in the cloud are attaching $5.87 of their own services for every $1.00 of Microsoft cloud solutions sold.”
Clearly, there is money to be made from the cloud, but is there too much emphasis on it? What about mobility or security? Curo Talent is conducting research across a range of Microsoft Users to establish what projects they plan to commission in the next 12 months. After all, it’s not about what you want to sell; it’s about what customers want to buy.
Predicting what comes after cloud will give any Microsoft Partner a competitive edge. But the rate of change in technology clearly poses problems; 30% of Microsoft Partners listed it as their greatest challenge.
Microsoft contractors saw the potential of cloud technologies and were quick to master tools such as Azure and Sharepoint. Listening to their conversations and watching which technologies they favour can give you advanced notice of where the market is heading.
The results of our research on Microsoft Partner cloud services are available in our report titled ‘MS Partner Technology Trends and Challenges’ due to be published on 20 September 2016.
You may also be interested in reading an associated post titled ‘What’s the answer to your Microsoft cloud skills shortage‘