Project name:

Cloud services development strategy for data center company

Project description:

Objective: Increase profit margin of the company that provides colocation services in its data center by extending in its portfolio with cloud and related services.

Services should be selected based on their market potential, strengths and weaknesses of the company, opportunities and threats from market analysis, competitors and potential customers research.

Duration of the project: 3 months.

Project Results:

1. Top management of the company (CEO, CCO, CTO) got a vision of cloud services business development.
2. Top management received a document with cloud services development strategy.
3. Top management received an understanding of the nearest steps of development as well as understanding of long-term business value.
4. Key employees learned how to quickly validate hypothesis, perform customer interviews and use iterative approach at work.

Project description: The project arose thanks to my many years of consulting experience, experience of developing analytical cloud services from the ground up and the company’s needs to expand its portfolio with cloud services. Despite the fact that we formulated key results at the beginning, I divided the project into 2-week iterations, which helped us a lot with quick scope of work correction.

At the first step, I researched the current company business. In order to do it, I conducted a series of interviews with CEO, CCO, CTO, key employees from sales team, account managers team and IT. As a result, I assessed the level of maturity of business processes, identified problem areas and strengths of the company. I shared these results with the top management and moved on to external research.

Due to the fact that we started the project in November and the end of the year and the New Year celebration were close, at the second step I conducted a series of interviews with local clients of cloud providers. I discovered actual criteria for choosing cloud providers, usage scenarios for popular services, and some unsatisfied needs. At the same time, I created client segmentation based on its core business type, IT maturity level and cloud services diversity requirements.

At the third step, I researched global and local cloud services market. I analyzed the development history and growth drivers for Amazon AWS, AliCloud and Equinix. I estimated the growth rate and market size in Russia for the most of the Top 30 cloud services. I researched several cloud providers in Russia. As a result, I discovered growth drivers that provide long-term competitive advantages, as well as the most demanded and profitable cloud services.

At the fourth step, we selected Top 5 services and choose 2 most attractive services for more detailed analysis. As a result, one of the services did not fit the company’s development strategy. For the second service, I developed a business plan that includes, among other things, the choice of technologies and go-to-market recommendations. In financial model, I used to reach reasonable initial investments, IRR and break-even point.

In conclusion, I wrote recommendations for the development of the company’s business processes, prepared roadmap for chosen cloud services development and next steps for 1 year.

During each 2-week iteration, I held a mandatory meeting with a working group of top management. I talked about discovered insights, together we brainstormed results and corrected next iteration scope of work. Finally, CEO and the team were happy with achieved results and we stay in touch for their future requests.

Thanks to the project, now I deeply understand the entire cloud services market global and local, expanding my knowledges from SaaS to PaaS and IaaS. After such a long research and strategy preparation, I would like to return to software product development.