Beware – cloud customers are changing

Change in the cloud
Change in the cloud

I act for a number of cloud providers. I also act for customers looking to buy cloud services.

This gives me a great insight into what customers are asking for from their providers. When I act for providers I pass this information on to them so they can take a view as to whether and how to address customer concerns. What I’ve noticed is that cloud customers are changing. They’re not overawed by cloud anymore. This is partly because they have become a lot more aware of what services are available. The Prism/Tempora revelations and data breach fines have caught their attention. And so too have cloud provider insolvencies.

Watch out – the cloud customer is changing

Here’s what cloud customers are asking for:

  1. Data security – every survey I’ve seen in this sector consistently shows that a customer’s key concern over cloud adoption is data security and NSA snooping has made it worse. Customers want the providers to keep their data secure and, where possible, out of reach of governments.
  2. Reliability – the customer knows cloud has to undergo maintenance and this downtime is often not counted in availability stats. Customers want the SLA to show the real availability figures. And as for providing an “as is” service, that only works for commoditised public cloud – customers want proper warranties.
  3. Liability. A customer moving their business critical assets to the cloud will not be happy with service credits as their only remedy. $200 off the next bill for a 2 hour outage just won’t do! Of course if the cloud is as reliable as the provider says, why is the provider worried about its liability exposure?
  4. Price changes – customers don’t like price increases, especially where the provider can force them through by updating their price list at will. In fact, that goes for all the contract terms – customers don’t like the provider being able to change the terms at will.
  5. Exit – most providers are happy to get rid of migrate disgruntled customers and will help them move away (at the right price). Customers want the provider to be clear upfront about the migration process and the costs.

What others you can think of?


Image courtesy of mrpuen “Change Ahead Sign” /”

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