SkyKick Survey: SMBs Skittish on SaaS


Plenty of SMBs are hesitant to start paying monthly for software-as-a-service.

SkyKick survey of partners released Wednesday revealed that customers’ unwillingness to pay a monthly fee for cloud software is one of partners’ top three obstacles in moving to the cloud.

SkyKick's Chike FarrellChike Farrell, SkyKick’s vice president of marketing, tells Channel Partners that partners don’t need to be convinced that cloud migration is important. But there remain “fundamental” obstacles that they need to overcome.

“Partners get it. They believe it, and they’re investing in it. But many are going to be hitting these common challenges in the trenches,” Farrell said. “We always find some value in helping partners understand that they’re not alone.”

The two other main obstacles are the confidence SMBs have in cloud services and the speed at which the cloud market evolves.

Many potential end users are concerned that the performance and security of cloud services are suspect. Storing data offsite is a worry, in addition to the reliability of the internet connection that would power the cloud services.

Farrell says partners can use email to demonstrate the reliability of cloud services to end users.{ad}

“It’s one of those areas where they’re kind of really able to show the benefits of cloud — the cost benefits as well as the efficiency … benefits. Homing in on a few things, including Office 365 and email specifically, allows us to build the ability to speak with great clarity and confidence to the SMBs about what they’re likely to see and how we can help them navigate through it,” he said.

The speed of the cloud market’s evolution was the second biggest concern. More than half of the respondents said they struggle to stay on top of all of the innovations that occur in the industry.

Farrell says the companies that thrive during market transformation are the ones who ingest information with the intention of teaching their customers, whether that be in case studies or blogs or webinars.

“The ones who are leading from the front are very quickly investing what they have learned and pushing it out to their customer bases so that they are becoming the thought leaders,” Farrell said.

When it comes to SaaS, the survey found that many SMBs don’t want to move from a one-time payment to a monthly fee. Farrell says partners succeed in this area when they fully explain concepts that may unfamiliar to the customer — such as bundled services and remote access.

“They are becoming good at articulating how cloud services are being combined, what services they are combining (if they’re bundling migration with cloud backup, for example); they’re sharing that with their customers, and they’re explaining how that’s adding value,” he said. “We’re seeing that the leading partners are finding success, and they have different scopes of work for different scenarios.”

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