http://www.digitaljournal.com/tech-and-science/technology/cloud-sales-constrained-by-lack-of-digital-skills/article/506938

Cloud sales constrained by lack of digital skills

Posted Nov 6, 2017 by James Walker
Sales of cloud services are being held back by a lack of skills, a report by intY has found. Over a third of platform resellers said they can't find sales staff with the expertise to sell cloud products. It's the latest sign of a lack of cloud resources.
Cloud computing use has grown by 112 percent in the past year
Cloud computing use has grown by 112 percent in the past year
stokpic via Pixabay
As Computer Weekly reports, a third of attendants surveyed at intY's CloudFest event said they are unable to source sales staff skilled in cloud products. After investing time and money in developing new cloud technologies, firms are seeing usage flatline as sales teams struggle to generate conversions.
A similar problem is being encountered by support departments. Firms which do manage to sell cloud solutions are finding themselves unable to support their customers. Too often, the support department staff lack enough cloud-specific expertise to resolve customer queries.
According to intY, this creates a "double threat" for companies selling products in the cloud. Demand for "as-a-service" cloud software is expected to balloon over the next few years. Resellers are currently ill positioned to take advantage though, with many having to embark on whole-company upskilling initiatives before they can help their customers.
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"The lack of skills in both sales and support of cloud services presents a double threat," intY COO Craig Joseph reportedly said. "Resellers who can't offer a convincing and seamless cloud solution to their customers risk being forced out of the marketplace completely, and missing out on the potentially huge revenue streams to come from cloud computing."
Cloud-based services are emerging as one of the biggest winners in the digital transformation era. They're more efficient, more accessible and more mobile than offline alternatives, all boxes that digital-first companies want to tick. The time for on-premises servers is coming to an end as businesses liberate their IT processes by moving to a service-oriented model.
There's still an adjustment period in switching to the cloud though. Until a service has been introduced, decision makers and users might not appreciate the benefits it can offer. Adoption of the cloud could stagnate if resellers can't explain the advantages and support buyers after their purchase.
Responding to the skills shortage will require an industry-wide effort. Some relief will be found by simply upskilling existing sales teams, helping them migrate to the cloud-first future. The next generation of recruits will likewise need additional training before they make effective sales. Digital training will be increasingly important as transformation strategies take hold, potentially holding the key to success for one provider over another.