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Winning the Cloud Game: Royalty

Cloud Game - RoyaltyPart 2 of a three-part blog series by guest blogger Charles Araujo, Principal Analyst of Intellyx. Full content can be found in our new eBook, "The Secrets to Winning the Cloud Game."

In my last blog, I talked about how the cloud game comes with a new set of rules software developers need to live by in order to win the game. In this blog, we’ll talk about some of the cards you’ll need to draw to a Royal Flush.

Your Ace in the Hole: Agility

Everyone knows that a winning hand starts with your ace in the hole.

For software companies making the shift to a SaaS model, that ace is agility.

You need to be able to pivot rapidly as your customers’ needs and desires change. A funny thing happens when you make the move from on-premises to SaaS: customer expectations change. They suddenly expect you to move faster and to change more quickly.

And they expect you to help them leverage your product to create their own agility as they attempt to compete in a market that is moving ever faster.

To meet this demand, you need to design your product architecture with agility in mind – yours and your customers. That’s your ace in the hole.

The King: Time to Market

Speaking of speed, let’s talk about the king in your winning hand: Time-to-Market.

You’re not the only one making the move to the cloud. So are all of your competitors. How you make the move — and doing it better and faster than your competitors — is going to be a critical part of putting together your winning hand.

Keeping up with your competition is great. But let’s call a spade a spade: you need to do more than just keep up — you need to beat your competitors to the punch. Over and over again.

As you move to the cloud, your ability to deliver faster — not just your first cloud release, but every release thereafter — will make you the ruler of the game.

The Queen Smiles Favorably When Her Customers are Happy

Despite the importance of the King, this game isn’t all about speed. That’s only part of the winning hand – all of your cards need to come together to win. Agility and time to market won’t matter if you don’t delight your customers.

The challenge for you is that in the world of cloud, your customers will take their losses and switch to a competitor at the first sign of trouble. It’s not enough to just be fast-to-market. You also need to thrill and delight your customers at every turn — so they double-down on a winning hand with you instead.

In this game, retention is the queen in your hand — and the queen favors those who keep her subjects happy.

The move to a cloud-driven world has left your customers fickle. They won’t hesitate to jump ship the moment they believe you aren’t meeting their needs.

Keep your customers happy by ensuring continuous availability of your platform or service and by delivering competition-beating performance on a consistent basis.

Are you ready for this?

The Royals get all the glory, but you need more than royalty to bring the pot home. In my last post in this three-part series, I’ll talk about the rest of the winning hand.


This is an excerpt of the Intellyx eBook, “The Secrets to Winning the Cloud Game.” To download the full eBook, click here.


Charles AraujoCharles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He writes a regular column for IDG and NetworkWorld, has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight and has been quoted or published in Time, CIO, Computerworld, USA Today and Forbes. 

Charles can be found on Twitter @charlesaraujo

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