It's Not All Wreckage in the 2010 Rearview
I've spoken to a lot of resellers and ISVs over the past several weeks and a good number of you can't wait until 2011. You feel that it's been a long and difficult business year. I can certainly appreciate these feelings. However, several folks took a different tack and were quite upbeat about the happenings in 2010, for a number of reasons.
Let's take a look at four things that occurred in 2010 that we should be thankful for:
1. Cloud Awakening
In 2010 we saw a huge movement toward cloud computing. Inklings of this movement surfaced in 2009, but we had heard of this before (remember "thin-client computing"). But it seems that this cloud stuff is here to stay. Microsoft is "all in" and most vendors have released or have announced cloud initiatives. We're even seeing commercials on television for cloud computing. Who would've ever thought?
There's consumer education occurring about the cloud and most print ads in tech publications mention cloud computing. Conferences now have cloud computing as the focal point and the big consultancies all have "cloud practices."
This year was definitely the one in which clarity was put around cloud computing, whereas in years past people and companies struggled with explaining this phenomenon. Be thankful for this past year and be thankful that companies have invested in educating the marketplace on the value of cloud computing.
2. Cost Cutting
You must be thinking, "Wait, you're thankful for cost cutting in 2010, are you crazy?"
Take a look at cost cutting from a different perspective. In 2010, companies continued to cut costs, then they cut more costs and then they still cut more costs. Guess what, they can't cut much more. Be thankful that the cost cutting is mostly done. However, also look at it this way ... cost cutting has forced customers to rethink how they need to take advantage of technology on a smaller budget.
Enter point No. 1 -- and introducing point No. 3 ...
3. Paradigm Shift to Recurring Revenue Models
So 2010 was not necessarily the year resellers realized that a recurring revenue model would be a good thing. We've known this since the dawn of time. However, 2010 is most definitely the year in which resellers could visualize numerous business models that make recurring revenues a reality.
In years past, resellers would say, "Yeah, that's a nice thing to get to [recurring revenue]," but they would stop there. Thanks to 2010, they were presented with actual roadmaps to a recurring revenue model, thanks in large part to points No. 1 and No. 2. I consider this an absolute paradigm shift in the way resellers should think.
If you're stuck in the old mode of delivery, your business will not grow as much as you want. 2010 taught us this.
4. Efficiency Is Here to Stay
This was a great lesson year in that lean and mean organizations are the future. Those that can be highly efficient with the least amount of resources and overhead are the ones that will survive and thrive. This is not changing any time soon.
My father-in-law has been in the construction business for more than 40 years. His business has survived this long because he learned that his business needs to run as efficiently as possible. Even in the "boom" years, he focused on lean operations. Years similar to 2010 taught him efficiency.
Keep these points in your mind and in the Marching Orders edition next month, I'll suggest some points to focus on in 2011 to make money from the lessons of 2010.
Next Time: Marching Orders
Keith Lubner is managing partner of Channel Consulting Corp., a N.J.-based global consulting organization focused on channel strategy, design, enablement, outsourcing and training for growing companies.