Selling Cloud Computing with Customer Stories

Today I gave a talk about Cloud Computing, and was posed with an interesting question.

How can we sell cloud computing to the non-technical decision makers?

I wasn’t really prepared for the question, because I was trying to sell it to technical people. But it is a very valid question, because the IT department of many businesses must go through others to get decisions approved.

The first thing that came to mind wasn’t cost, or ease of use, it was who else is using it? When looking at outsourcing to another company, one of the most important things to do is understand how others view the company. For the same reason Amazon has user reviews of products, you need to look at reviews of cloud service providers. Who uses them and likes them? Who dislikes them and why?

Most cloud companies have a list of customers using their services. Understanding how others are using the cloud is really the easiest way to understand how you can use the cloud. Forget all the technical details, they don’t matter to non-technical people.

Some great examples are Mailtrust, AWS, Mosso, 3tera, Salesforce, Rackspace, and the list goes on…

Everyone nodded their head at my answer. Hopefully it was a good one.

Any other ideas on how to sell cloud computing to non-technical people?