Today’s marketing and sales professionals are commonly using the cloud as an important tool to help generate more leads online, but what many firms are learning is that there are not enough qualified employees to be managing their cloud computing environment. This problem may only increase in upcoming years, as a recent whitepaper produced by IDC revealed there will be an estimated 7 million available cloud-related jobs by 2015.
“Unlike IT skill shortages in the past, solving this skills gap is extremely challenging, given that [the] cloud brings a new set of skills, which haven’t been needed in the past,” said Cushing Anderson, program vice president at IDC. “There is no one-size-fits-all set of criteria for jobs in cloud computing.”
Businesses must prepare for the cloud
Many business leaders at companies involved in sales and marketing set annual budgets, and recently, the cloud has taken up a larger portion of spending. Nearly two-thirds of enterprises around the globe are planning, implementing or using cloud computing, while half of the respondents said the cloud is one of their top priorities for the upcoming year. It is imperative companies have staff that not only has the skills to operate the cloud, but also maximize its potential.
“Cloud computing is crucial to the bottom line of the company – it creates cost savings and efficiencies for companies and their customers,” said Anderson. “Therefore, a cloud-savvy workforce is essential to the success of the IT industry’s financial health.”
The report showcased there will be millions of jobs available that have to do with working with the cloud, and the main reasons these positions aren’t filled are a lack of training, certification or experience. Businesses simply cannot afford to bring in staff members that won’t help them grow their cloud infrastructure and truly benefit from what the cloud sets out to achieve.
Make the cloud work for the company
Many sales and marketing companies are already using the cloud, but not up to its full potential. There are still several lessons that companies have to learn in order to get the most out of the cloud. For example, businesses that have a wide client base can use the cloud to improve communication, or firms with several products and/or services can take advantage of the online storage solutions to share their offerings with prospects and current clients; nonetheless, many businesses need to learn how to master the cloud in order to experience its true benefits. Here are some insights Joe Weinman, senior vice president of cloud services and strategy at Telx, shared with Entrepreneur magazine about transforming the cloud to meet a business’ needs.
- Foster strong lines of communication: The cloud is a great way to share ideas with a number of businesses all at once, especially competitors. Companies can work together to achieve a common goal, while at the same time work against other businesses to make their offering better than the next. Taking advantage of the opportunity to improve communication in a cloud environment can give sales and marketing professionals a leg up on firms with similar suites of products and/or services.
- Maximize the budget: As noted earlier, a large majority of enterprises will have a set budget for their expenses, and the better everyone within the firm is able to see how money is spent, the more clear it will be to see how the budget is shaping up for the remainder of the month, or even the year. This is where the cloud is especially beneficial. With employees able to access the company’s virtual infrastructure from anywhere, all staff members can have the most up-to-date budget reports.
- Find the right capacity and expand when necessary: Many cloud providers allow businesses to use the cloud in a pay-as-you-go manner, which means they are only expected to pay for what they are using. This payment solutions help firms maximize their spending on the cloud while also giving businesses the option to purchase more storage space if needed. Companies that want to use the cloud to share massive sales reports with a lot of data can simply add more storage to their cloud deployment to easily give all team members access to the information they need.
The true benefits of the cloud are noticed when firms take advantage of its versatility. Sales and marketing professionals who are in the field looking for new leads need up-to-date information in their hands during sales pitches. This is just one of the many ways the cloud can be used to improve a firm’s processes.
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