Finding that X-factor in the cloud and beyond

In this uncertain market, there must be a fundamental shift in how businesses seek to enhance their financial position while continuing digital transformation.

Everything-as-a-service (XaaS) provides a way forward and should be a part of long-term strategy. Whether it’s software-as-a-services (SaaS), security-as-a-service (SECaaS) or hardware-as-a-service (HaaS), companies should be striving to diversify their revenue streams with a digital-first mindset. 

Consumption on demand  

If it’s manual, it’s already broken. Cloud computing will continue to be a cornerstone of innovation and growth, enabling companies to remain agile and scale faster. Gartner predicts that by 2027, more than 50% of enterprises will use industry cloud platforms. 

With XaaS, companies can provide products and services on demand. Subscription and pay-per-use models allow businesses to have a more predictable way to manage revenue while providing agility for business customers. 

Manufacturing has evolved beyond the physical, utilizing digital technologies to service customers. Traditionally, manufacturers would build a product, ship that product and be done. Now, manufacturers can maintain a continuous connection with customers through consumption-on-demand models.

For example, a manufacturer that has a software component — basically a SaaS version of their product that they can get to their customers in a matter of minutes. If business customers instead had to purchase a licensed product that takes weeks to arrive, they’re going to take their business elsewhere. 

Digital bundling makes sense  

Just like regular consumers, B2B customers want solutions that are only a click away. Digital bundling adds value to a business, allowing companies to distinguish themselves as providers with a smorgasbord of offerings, while also building client retention. 

Telcos have jumped into digital bundling. For example, along with a phone and a plan, a telecom service provider might also offer customers the opportunity to choose Office 365 or DocuSign as an added service. Does a customer need security on their end product? When you have partners, you can offer these services in a bundle. This allows telcos to focus more effectively on creating customer stickiness, deepening per-customer contracts with bundled services. 

A good example is Telefonica Tech, which offers a cybersecurity package that includes a physical firewall, SaaS licenses and professional setup services. Customers can order through the company’s marketplace as a single solution that is delivered at a monthly fee.  

The important outcome of offering these bundles is that they significantly simplify business customers’ operations. The more telcos invest in complex automation, the more personalization they will be able to offer through the automated deployment of packages, such as a complete workplace-as-a-service (WaaS). 

Supply chain resiliency 

Using automation across the supply chain saves manpower while increasing communication and connectivity between business partners. Digital technologies increase visibility and provide data in real time. This vital information allows organizations to identify supply chain chokepoints, track inventory and communicate quickly throughout the supply chain. 

The pandemic highlighted how vital it is for companies to invest in digital transformation. The more a business leveraged digital technologies during the crisis, the more likely they were to adapt quickly to rapid change. Zoom and Microsoft Teams are two examples. Organizations that did not have that kind of supply chain resiliency, whether it be from a SaaS standpoint or an integration standpoint, were more likely to struggle because they were not ready. 

When building out a cloud platform, organizations want end-to-end integration, automation and scalability. Companies need to decide how they are going to market — through direct sales or through channels. The power of a platform is that you’re running on somebody else’s infrastructure, allowing you to scale up quickly when needed. 

Growth through a digital ecosystem 

A common mistake companies make is trying to go it alone. It can be a painstaking process to build application program interface (API) systems for your marketplace and manage them. Expand your reach more rapidly through a digital ecosystem that enables you to set one set of APIs for your products into a catalog that can be distributed globally. Building out through an ecosystem is less expensive, less time-consuming and helps businesses scale faster. 

Gartner’s report on Top Technology Trends for 2023 says worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services is forecast to grow more than 20% to total $591.8 billion next year. The report emphasizes the business value of being able to scale vertical solutions and product delivery.  

By using hyperscalable XaaS marketplaces, you can add solutions to your catalog without increased overhead costs. A global self-service marketplace platform automates all ordering, fulfillment, and billing processes.  

A unified view and data integration improve visibility and workflows, as well. Subsidiaries are then able to manage their quotes and regional catalogs, as well as curate location-specific listings while the service provision is handled centrally. Scaling these processes with digitization is critical to reduce costs and free up resources. 

A digital ecosystem allows you to expand customer growth and strengthen your foothold in the market by diversifying your revenue sources through cross-selling a variety of partner products. 

An experienced managed service provider (MSP) enables businesses to frictionlessly transform their e-commerce shops into as-a-service marketplace ecosystems. The platform provider handles all the ordering, fulfillment, subscription management and billing flows — including managing multi-tier reseller levels.

Companies can easily manage a catalog of third-party vendor solutions to be offered through their own marketplace and deliver their own products and digital bundles by way of multiple marketplaces in any language, currency and geography.  

XaaS marketplaces enable businesses to become better problem-solvers for their end customers, anticipate risks and proactively offer creative solutions. Increased demand for customized offerings means that any ecosystem partner has the potential to thrive in the service economy, where nearly everything can be delivered to customers as a service. 

Dave Valentine is strategic sales executive with CloudBlue.

Originally appeared on: TheSpuzz