March 19, 2013, 12:25 PM — If you ask 10 people charged with IT at a small business to name their primary concern about going to the cloud, you're bound to find a lack of trust is dominant. After all, it's difficult for smaller organizations without great depth in IT to trust what they cannot see. At the same time, this group also wants IT to be simple, uncomplicated, and ideally, not their problem any more.
That dichotomy leads to an interesting challenge for cloud service providers trying to market to this growing segment. From what I've seen, most providers tend to lean toward simplifying their pitch and hiding as much of the complexity in cloud services as possible. The fewer questions you open up, the easier it is to sell.
However, there's one enormous drawback of this approach: The customers aren't forced to develop basic fluency with the services they're using -- and it's all too easy for your clients to develop inaccurate expectations around performance and reliability. Worse, an uninformed customer is unlikely to be able to separate the well-run cloud services from the fly-by-night operators common in any emerging market.
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