Trends abound in technology. On a daily basis, I watch the transformation of multiple industries (healthcare, education and government, to name a few). What strikes me is the recent transcendence of a few key trends beyond each of these markets.
A few weeks ago, I attended a conference for the legal technology industry – an industry we peripherally serve – and it was clear that its challenge of the moment is big data and the complexities associated with it. There were presentations on the topic and significant attention paid to data in the cloud and selling tools to leverage, analyze, store, secure, review, and (insert any techno-modifier) that data.
What struck me about my time at the conference is the varying degree of message maturity amongst the vendors. It seems many companies are still using their messaging to define the Cloud and not on how they are using the cloud and big data to meet their customers’ business objectives.
Next week, I will be attending a healthcare technology conference and expect to see the same spectrum in a much larger context. Many healthcare technology companies are defining the cloud, big data, and the benefits it can have for their customers. What these companies often forget is cloud computing has been part of the vernacular since as early as 2008 and most of their customers understand the fundamentals of the technology.
Market messaging is a challenge. Change your language too often and you create confusion and portray instability. Go too technical, you limit your target audience. Redefine a broadly understood term and you risk looking out of touch.
The fact is many purchasers don’t have a complete understanding of the cloud, but neither do they fully understand the web or the Internet. What they have is a need for a solution to their problem. If that big data solution is in the cloud, great… let’s talk about its reliability, security, cost, features, capabilities, etc. Let’s not revisit what the cloud is.