In a cloud-first, mobile-first world there is no doubt that reduced availability of skilled IT people is driving change.
At the Microsoft Australian Partner Conference this year, Microsoft has asked its partner community to “Create Incredible”. Last week, 900 people from Microsoft’s partner community of over 11,000 partner organisations gathered on the Gold Coast to network, share ideas and learn about the directions of Microsoft, the self-declared challenger IT company.
What Microsoft is looking for are ways to drive down the cost of technology while improving the usefulness and adoption of it. Cloud solutions developed by the partner community for the Microsoft platforms are doing just that, with cloud solutions companies like Breeze creating a solution that can be delivered to a new dental practice in seven minutes. This would once have been a process that took days.
For several years I have been predicting that the amount of work required to support a business with its IT technology in the cloud would be less than if the technology was in-house. The example of Breeze is certainly showing this to be true. This is creating new opportunities for smart IT companies to solve business problems in new ways.
Today more than ever there is a shortage of highly skilled IT people as the IT courses in universities have become less popular than ever. This means that for a company where IT is not the core of the business it has become harder than ever to recruit the right internal team. This means that IT companies that can attract good staff can offer nimble solutions and win big deals. Also for the support environment there is a growing trend for larger businesses to move infrastructure to the cloud and reduce their internal support functions to a point where it makes good sense to outsource the support function entirely.
There are distinct trends towards mobility to meet the demand of workers to access company systems from wherever they are and preferably via a smartphone or tablet device. Often the cloud solutions cater to this demand without the need to build internal teams to create the solution. So now more than ever there are small companies offering timely services in specialised solutions that can be implemented in days or weeks not months as they once would have.
Thus the reduced availability of well-trained staff is being met by the reduced requirement brought about by cloud. We truly are doing more with less, we are also taking it for granted even faster than we used to. We have become used to the incredible being delivered faster than ever before in a world where innovation has become the last frontier of market advantage.
Winning in business is now about differentiation through innovation in a crowded and competitive field. If your company is not yet taking advantage of innovation in cloud solutions it may be time to engage with this amazing partner community. It may help you reduce your staff costs in a non-core business unit.
David Markus is the founder of Combo – the IT services company that is known for solving business problems with IT. How can we help?