2020 was a year of challenge and change
In 2020, businesses globally took to the Cloud to help pivot to digital and remote modes of operation during the pandemic. This stimulated Cloud adoption in traditional and new markets, and this is only set to grow in 2021. Alongside growth in new markets, the Cloud market itself is maturing. The demand for operating hybrid cloud environments and the prevalence of cloud-native technologies is soaring. This growth brings new opportunities and should provide you with the motivation to innovate and expand your reach this year.
The pandemic and its impact on workplaces, education, and social life has affected each of us – navigating this is one of the challenges that every business faces. This has made Cloud a necessity to survive and thrive for enterprises and public sector entities alike. However, this situation offers you the opportunity to innovate solutions to meet customers’ new operating challenges as well as stimulating internal transformation.
Customer obsession is key right now: 2021 will bring an even bigger focus on industry-specific Cloud solutions, and solution-led innovations. To ready yourself for the year ahead there are 4 key areas businesses should look at now to ensure continued success
Refine and recommunicate your unique selling point – and get everyone onboard spreading the same message.
Articulating what makes you unique can be harder than it looks. All Cloud solution providers have their niche, their superpower or secret sauce – spend some time identifying the thing that makes you unique, what makes you “you.”
Communicating this has always been important, but the clarity and succinct nature of the message is especially notable in 2021. This year, a lot of connection and communication will remain digital and presented in a crowded forum. Without the extended networking opportunities provided by in-person events, you’ll need to work harder to stand out from the crowd – disseminating a concise, clear message around your USP is a key step.
First, identify or validate your USP. Next polish up your messaging, making it tighter and clearer. Look at the data and insights you have on what messaging is working and focus in on that. Then shout about it. Your business has a huge number of potential advocates and champions, external stakeholders who want to promote you, talk about you and bring you into opportunities. You need to identify who they are and make sure they understand what makes you unique and the gap that you fill.
Make sure everyone who might champion you is given the tools to talk about what makes you special. Your Cloud team, whatever their role, will find themselves in a position to celebrate your values and USP with external stakeholders. Is everyone on message? Are your marketing materials up to date? Are they available digitally? Your customers, vendors you work with, and partners in your ecosystem could be in a position to open the door to your next opportunity. Make it easy for them to do so.
Establish a regular meeting or online space to help your team get on the same page, share success and lessons learned – and, importantly, spark new ideas.
Siloes and missed opportunities are everywhere – at SyncOrg, we find our workshops often provide our customers with the chance to have valuable cross-functional conversations that can be missing from their business-as-usual. Now, more than ever, with flexible and remote working becoming the norm for so many of us, the opportunities for informal connections and casual organic collaboration have been taken away from us. A deliberate alternative is needed in its place.
Solution-led customer engagements also need more collaborative vision and input than traditional technology services. Cross-functional understanding of, for example, customer challenges, needs and demands should drive your outcome-led industry-specific solutions.
It’s not just your solutions that will benefit from cross-functional communication. The operational demands of remote working create challenges around the visibility of the end-to-end customer journey and how different teams and roles interact. Give your forum the remit to take control and improve visibility.
Creating this cross-functional space has the potential to inspire innovation and keep you abreast of new opportunities:
- Share and build Cloud knowledge and resources
- Celebrate the value and outcomes delivered by your Cloud solutions
- Be inspired and collaborate on ideas for enhancing existing or developing new solutions
Bring your Cloud team or vertical-specific team together, from across all areas of business, streamline communications and facilitate solution-led innovation this year.
Revisit your Cloud vision and goals for 2021 and make sure they are practical and measurable to see the success and impact of your efforts this year.
Your goals provide a high-level map of where you want to go so that you know when you have arrived. Take the time to break down each goal into specific, clear steps that will carry you along the road to your destination.
Metrics often aren’t top of mind for businesses when it comes defining vision and goals. We know that this can be an afterthought and that there’s a tendency to use the same measures you’ve always used. Putting the time in to pair action-led objectives with measurable outcomes makes your vision achievable.
2020 showed us that businesses need to be adaptive. When it comes to goal setting this means it is important to consider your goals’ applicability regularly and update them when necessary. Setting measures and metrics for your goals and objectives makes it easy to see progress or compare approaches. You can show where a change or adaptation has been successful if you start with a benchmark or have a measurable endpoint in sight.
In the end, you can only manage what you measure. Making sure your Cloud goals are actionable will help you tackle the challenges and opportunities of 2021 with confidence.
Kick off the new year with a review of what you’re doing well (and find opportunities to grow).
In our personal and professional lives, the new year is seen as a chance to make a change for the better. The same rings true for businesses – it can provide an opportunity for reflection of what went well the year before.
After the turbulence of 2020, take some reassurance that your strengths and hard work were enough to weather the storm. With the ongoing uncertainties that face us in 2021, your business’s strengths and weaknesses are things that you have most control over. Deepening your understanding of your strengths, in light of today’s market, can help you direct your business growth and create new opportunities.
The best approach to change is to take things one step at a time. Consider a review of your strengths as the first step in this year’s journey. Kick-start your review with a look at some past highlights: Were you able to launch a new service? Improve internal efficiency? List these successes for a clear view of where you have excelled and uncover the competencies that sit behind them. Once you have a refreshed view of your strengths and weaknesses, use it as a guide to set new goals and plan the steps that will take you forward.
Knowing your strengths helps you focus on what’s important and allows you to turn weaknesses to your advantage.
After a trying 2020 many businesses have entered the new year with renewed focus and determination. Ensure you capitalize on this now with the above actions and set yourself on a strong path for success in 2021.