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Cloud providers must understand different sectors’ needs

IT vendors must create vertical offers, building them specifically for different segments, increasing their understanding of each sector’s issues to better meet customers’ requirements, several industry observers noted at this week’s  Cloud Computing World Forum Latin America 2012. “Cloud providers should become sector specialists,” said Fernando Belfort, senior analyst at Frost & Sullivan.

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Identifying what customers want and address a solution to that need is critical for any vendor. However, it is particularly important for building cloud solutions; providers have a better chance of success if they do in-depth research into business segments’ challenges and then customize solutions.

In addition, cloud computing follows the “pay-as-you-go” business model, so customers’ success represents more money for vendors. The question is whether the vendors are prepared to work this way.

“They still have to understand which type of industry they are attending and which solution best fits each one,” said Marcos Pasin, IT director at the construction firm Bueno Netto, noting that challenges change from industry to industry.

“Cloud providers are more mature now than they were before, and chief information officers (CIO) are as well,” said Marcelo Ribeiro, CIO at Catho Onlie, a Brazilian job board website. “The major challenge for vendors is to understand their customer’s business to offer services that meet what they really need.”

The pay-as-you-go concept is intrinsic to cloud offerings. At the same time, it is an important turning point; it challenges the way vendors build their portfolio and go to market. This links back to the Belfort’s point: vendors need to understand companies’ goals to offer them appropriate cloud solutions.

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