We at Tri Tuns often talk about the many unintended consequences of cloud IT. Perhaps one of the greatest is that cloud computing has transferred a large amount of user adoption risk from the client to the cloud vendor.
Cloud providers share your user adoption risk
One great appeal of cloud computing is the decrease of upfront costs and reduced implementation times removing many barriers preventing organizations from purchasing a system. However, while it has made it easier for customers to sign up with a cloud vendor, it has also made it easier for them to leave and go to a competitor. And this is exactly what customers do if their people do not adopt the software and use it to add value to the organization.
While cloud vendors enjoy the ease with which they can acquire new customers, they are quickly realizing that if the customer is not getting value, they can’t keep them. One cloud vendor told us that they have over 50% turnover in one customer segment due to the client having poor user adoption and low ROI.
Cloud IT vendors now realize that user adoption at their customers’ organizations is a major risk area that threatens their revenues. So, while user adoption is not their responsibility, it is most definitely their problem.
Cloud vendors see the need to help you drive user adoption
Cloud vendors know they need to help customers do more to drive user adoption and reach their ROI goals. Historically this is why vendors sell software training services. However, this alone has proven ineffective for driving user adoption, so more vendors are partnering with organizations like Tri Tuns to deliver cloud user adoption services.
There are several other things you should do to increase your ROI on your cloud investment.
Include Renewal Criteria in your business case
Some reports indicate that it can take in excess of 30 months for organizations to get meaningful adoption of new systems. And we all know that without user adoption, you will not realize a single benefit or achieve your ROI goals.
Many cloud IT vendors offer clients a 12 or 24-month contract, after which point the client needs to renew or migrate to a newvendor. As a buyer, when you first put together your business case, you need to define the timeframe in which you expect to achieve full user adoption and achieve your ROI goals. If industry adoption norms dictate the adoption and payback periods are longer than the length of your contract, how will you know if you should renew or if you should just cut your losses and drop the system?
Consider defining specific user adoption goals and metrics when you are developing your business case. Set specific achievement goals and set points for when you will measure if you hit or miss your goals. If your contract renewal comes up before you have achieved your full ROI, set specific targets that you will evaluate as part of the renewal decision.
Tell your cloud vendor your renewal criteria up front
Not only should you define your renewal criteria before you buy a system, you should share this information with all prospective cloud vendors during your system evaluation effort. Since prospective cloud vendors have a vested in retaining your business, letting them know what it will take in advance gives them more opportunities to offer you additional services and support that can help you achieve your ROI goals. It also provides additional opportunities for you to understand the potential costs of any additional services you may need so that you can include these in your business case.
Ultimately, letting your vendor know the exact value you need to receive helps everyone make sure your cloud investment is a success.
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