In the past, when businesses wanted to shop for cloud-based applications or digital solutions, they had to contact a broker or each company they were considering. The buying process was onerous, and required wading through mounds of marketing materials and endless demos. Today’s buyers want a better solution to meet their personalized needs, and this has given rise to public cloud marketplaces. Public cloud marketplaces provide a cloud-based commerce model, where businesses can evaluate a range of different options to solve a multitude of issues. With vendor-agnostic marketplaces, there’s a wider variety of applications and solutions available, and users aren’t tied to the limitations of a single platform.
Cloud computing adoption continues to explode. According to Forbes, the global cloud market will reach $411 billion by 2020. Public cloud marketplaces are quickly becoming one of the preferred channels that companies use to research, purchase, and manage their apps. Here’s a closer look at how to develop a marketplace strategy to improve your tech delivery and help your team increase productivity.
Explore a Full Range of Available Apps
One of the biggest benefits for customers is the open nature of public cloud marketplaces. Increasingly, customers complete 57% of the sales process before ever contacting sales or customer service, according to Curata. Like many of today’s buyers, you’re empowered and want to do your research before a sales consultant leads you in a particular direction that may not be the best fit for your needs or budget. Brands are responding by creating marketplaces that support this style of buying. Make the most of them and leverage the features that are available to buyers by consulting:
- App descriptions, features, and data: Learn everything potential apps have to offer.
- User reviews: Hear from real buyers how apps perform.
- Comparison tools: Compare and contrast different options to see what meets your needs.
- Buyer education resources: Learn from marketplace educational resources on what to look for when buying certain types of apps.
Customize Your Cloud, Eliminate Waste
Having a cloud marketplace strategy—one that involves working with a vendor-agnostic marketplace—helps you customize your cloud effectively. It’s easier to select applications from different developers that meet your needs, and skip over the mandatory packages laden with apps you’ll never use.
As one expert notes, “One of the biggest advantages of this model is that it lets you shop around for different applications instead of settling for a complete software package, which often includes unnecessary apps and services. This really takes cost-effectiveness to a whole new level.” Customization and cost-effectiveness can help you make the most of the cloud—and working with a marketplace can help deliver those benefits.
Save Time and Money Buying from Cloud Marketplaces
What’s the most important way that a cloud marketplace strategy can help your business? Saving—both time and money. In fact, Gartner research director, Sid Nag, noted that, “Organizations are pursuing strategies because of the multidimensional value of cloud services, including values such as agility, scalability, cost benefits, innovation, and business growth… buyers are looking to cloud first in their decisions, in support of time-to-value impact via speed of implementation.”
For IT leaders, there are two big takeaways here. Save time when you purchase through a cloud marketplace. You can easily research, compare, and evaluate software, and speed up implementation with a cloud-first model. Cloud marketplaces can also offer cost savings and optimizations, from special pricing to simplified billing and management.
Embrace Self-Service Capabilities
If you want more control over your cloud experience, marketplaces may be the right solution for you. As Gartner writes, “Software (and increasingly, added value services) purchases become frictionless. While there may still be budget limits, approved buyers and suppliers, etc. within tech buyer organizations, the time and effort between decision and provisioning will decrease significantly.”
Marketplaces offer self-service support for comparing apps, making purchases, consolidating bills, and even managing users. There are also other layers of controls available to empower organizational decision makers to make purchases up to a certain point. These self-service capabilities help you get more done, while wasting less time.
Take Advantage of Assisted Sales Resources
Many public marketplaces have recognized the need to offer assisted sales resources, ranging from educational materials to sales consultants that can help you select the right cloud application for your needs. In other words, if you’re excited about the possibilities of a cloud marketplace but want a little more support, vendor-agnostic providers are putting the resources in place to make buying easier.
Today’s marketplaces offer help, from consulting on your specific questions to product resources. If you need a more high-touch experience, reach out. Find out what kind of assisted sales support is available, and then choose the option that best fits your needs. Developing the right cloud strategy for your organization is a key component to keeping your technology effective. Buying from a public cloud marketplace can give you more control, let you access a wider range of apps and services, and streamline the buying process. Decide how a marketplace fits into your larger strategy today.