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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Mellor - KloudReadiness, LLC

Not a Subscription Superstar – don’t overreact, but…

Get in the game today. The increasing demand for subscription-based cloud and digital services is forcing value-added resellers (VAR’), IT Solution Providers, and Managed Service Providers (MSP’) to assess their current business models and the services they provide to their clientele.

The acceleration of the Subscription Economy has intensified the need to allow buyers to consume offerings in the way they choose and pay for them the way they want.

The pace of subscription adoption by many customers has put a strain on technology service providers who did not realize the effort it takes to alter their business to allow for monthly and annual subscriptions.

This evolution has been underfoot for some time, however, many were taking an opportunistic approach towards dealing with cloud and subscription business.

What Changed?

COVID-19 provided the catalyst required for many to alter the way they do business. In fact, many were required to adopt a transformational mindset to confront the new reality of working remotely and not being able to rely on their tried-and-true line-of-sight management approaches. As Satya Nadella stated in 2020:

“We've seen two years' worth of digital transformation in two months”.

The convergence of the Subscription Economy and Digital Transformation has created the perfect storm for many technology service providers. They have been forced to begin the journey required to alter their business models to address the needs of a subscription business, while at the same time adjusting their solution-stacks to reflect their clients' desire to consume IT services in new and different ways to become digital entities.

As the title of this note suggests – it’s time to make the moves necessary to become a Subscription Superstar, but you need to do it in a way that makes sense for your business and the culture you’ve created.

Why is it so Hard?

Most organizations in the throes of transforming and adopting subscription and cloud services inevitably have three (3) discomforting episodes that put them in distress early on. The afflictions include:

1. They don’t spend enough time assessing, analyzing, and altering their business model, sales model, operating model, and the investments required to make the transition to a subscription-based recurring revenue-centric approach. BTW – in the end, you’ll truly need to create a hybrid business model – your current business needs to remain healthy…

2. They have a tough time determining where they truly provide value and how they’ll craft a story that clearly tells people where they play, what they provide, and why it’s important to their customers and partners.

3. They spend too much time focused on the technology and not enough time on organizational change and developing pragmatic approaches to leverage tried and true business and digital transformation approaches.

Don’t let yourself fall into these traps. Many in the technology service provider marketplace are technologists and get sidetracked with all of the fantastic technology available today that is delivered from the cloud.

Getting your business positioned to become a Subscription Superstar that is capable of driving growth in cloud, digital services, and digital transformation initiatives is not a technology problem – it’s a business problem.

Where should you Start?

The first step should be to become subscription business savvy, as a subscription business model and sales skills become your gateway to the cloud, the internet-of-things (IoT), and many other transformational business technologies.

The best thing you can do to become subscription business savvy is to assess your current subscription business readiness and identify the gaps that exist today and understand which activities would provide the biggest & best bang for the buck and close the largest gaps.

A thorough business assessment combined with an organizational commitment to become a Subscription Superstar needs to be the objective.

Subscription Superstars are growth-oriented revenue and profit producers who structure their business to steadily increase revenue month-over-month, while at the same time looking to maximize profitability as they become subscription & digital transformation machines.

All the major legacy technology vendors have declared they will provide all their offerings via a subscription and consumption model within the next 18 – 24 months – technology vendor ecosystems are evolving and subscription savvy solution providers who also have digital transformation capabilities will be well-positioned to thrive over the next decade.

OK - it’s time to overreact and get in the game…

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