Week in Review: Cloud vendors targeting the wrong stakeholders?

  • Conversations around business value should resonate more with marketing/strategy/finance
  • But tech boys seem to be wearing blinkers, only targeting CIOs

Week in Review: Cloud vendors targeting the wrong stakeholders?ONE of the four mega trends in tech is cloud computing, and boy, were there cloud jokes during the hazy lead-up to the latest cloud offering in town, launched by HeiTech Managed Services Sdn Bhd on June 27.
 
Fortunately, the weather gods smiled down on HeiTech and it was azure skies and sunshine on the day.
 
For HeiTech, one of the leading homegrown listed tech companies, this is a space it must get into as it is inevitable that its customers, including those in government, are going to start moving more of their IT assets onto the cloud, even if gradually at first.
 
While the pace of cloud adoption is low in Malaysia at the moment, there is an air of inevitability about it. Despite the wariness of CIOs (chief information officers) in making the move today, it will eventually happen.
 
Thus, the likes of HeiTech are making big investments to position themselves as key partners for CIOs when they do make the decision to migrate to the cloud. The low adoption rate just represents an opportunity.

HeiTech has branded its cloud offering as ‘AwanHeiTech’ and officially launched it with an ambitious full-day conference supported by a bevy of hardware and software vendors who seem to think they can ride on the company to deliver their services to HeiTech’s customers too.
 
But who exactly are the right customers to pitch the value of cloud to? That was the key question I asked the panellists during a session I moderated. Are service providers such as HeiTech selling cloud as a technology or a tool that allows businesses to deliver better value to their customers?
 
If it is a business value that the cloud ultimately offers, as Dr Chang Cheong Swee, director of Product and Pre-Sales at HeiTech, suggests it must be, and it impacts customers, who in the user-organisation interacts with customers? Is it IT, where most of the cloud discussions seem to be centred on? Or marketing, strategy and finance staff, who have a more intimate relationship with the user-organisation’s customers?
 
I think the conversations should be held with the business people, but we all know that almost all tech vendors target the IT people to sell the value of the cloud to. It is not a uniquely Malaysian problem.
 
But it is ironic. It is the tech industry that champions the need to move fast, to make adjustments as one goes along and to think out of the box in coming up with market solutions. I guess that applies to everyone else but themselves!
 
Finally, congratulations to Intelligent Money Sdn Bhd (iMoney) and its founder Ching Wei Lee for getting a RM500,000 grant from Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd.
 
Together with the US$500,000 raised earlier this month, Ching will have more than enough ‘fuel’ to grow to the next level before hitting his Series A round. His angel investor is Khailee Ng and seed investor Tim Marbach, founder of Asia Venture Group Sdn Bhd, who himself was an Internet entrepreneur in Germany, cashing out of his startup there in 2011.
 
Previous Instalments:
 
Interested in my online bhangra class?
 
Week in Review: One different approach, one traditional one
 
Week in Review: Taking advantage of the runway
 
Week in Review: Telco tales
 
Week in Review: MDeC no longer sole ecosystem anchor

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