Change is difficult – benefit you can see vs future promise aka The Marshmallow experiment

(Stephen Parker, Head of Cloud Strategy, NewLease)

Over the years I have spent a lot of time working with partners to help then through the challenges of changing their businesses to support a cloud model.

The bottom line change is difficult.

But why?

I was in a session at WPC with my good friend Darren Bibby from IDC and he talked about a piece of research from Stanford University (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_marshmallow_experiment) that was all about the benefits of what you can see now vs promised future benefits.

The conclusion of the research is that despite the apparently clear benefits of waiting for future value the majority take what they can see now.

Why is this relevant to a cloud shift?

People (and ergo businesses) find it difficult to move from the big hit wins of the single “elephant hunter” sales success to the long term benefits of a recurring (annuity) revenue stream that takes time to build in value.

 

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Microsoft Big Bets for FY15

Each year at WPC Microsoft lets it’s partner community know what their big bets are for the coming year. In the past these have changed reach year.

However this year they are the same as FY14 with the addition of Security.

Cloud, Social, Mobility, Big Data & BI, Security.

These tends are what will drive Microsoft in FY15, so you need to know them if you work with Microsoft

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Microsoft WPC 2014

Microsoft’s annual event aimed at their partner community, Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), is timed at the beginning of the Microsoft financial year.  This means that it is the perfect opportunity for Microsoft to lay out their key messaging for the year ahead and get their partners on-board.

Microsoft have been talking about being “all in” with the Cloud for a number of years now.  However the rhetoric is now landing with serious organisational change and commitment.

With Satya Nadella providing a new hand on the wheel and clear statements that “Nothing is off the table in how we think about shifting our culture” (see http://www.zdnet.com/microsoft-ceo-nadella-we-will-reinvent-productivity-7000031455/) this years WPC in Washington DC will be especially interesting to see what does and does not get mentioned.

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