There’s no doubt that cloud adoption is on the uptake in both enterprises and SMBs alike. But along with a move toward cloud adoption, many businesses are facing resistance from the IT department.
Why are some IT workers dragging their feet when it comes to embracing cloud computing? How can IT leaders dispel the fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) that surrounds The Cloud, and what advice should they give to IT workers who feel threatened by cloud adoption?
Experts shared their lists of top tips when asked the question, “What are your top tips for IT workers who feel threatened by the move to Cloud Computing?”
JP Morgenthal, principal at EMC Consulting offers these tips:
- Manage user expectations. These have already changed due to external influences. Users expect unlimited storage, fast response times, and mobile support. The cloud will enable you to keep up with their demands so that you don’t look like a dinosaur.
- Governance is a requirement. The cloud often changes governance over data and systems. Problems arise when these changes are glossed over or ignored. Address them head-on.
- Landlord vs. Concierge (my person favorite of the tips). Realize that IT cannot maintain control through continued innovation in IT, but instead must lead by example. Attempts to constrain the user will result in disastrous results as the end-user does end-runs around IT to achieve their goals as well as presenting poorly in the eyes of management. Instead of treating IT as rental property that is rented by the end-user (customer) and acting like the landlord, change your mind-set to that of a concierge for a hotel and see yourself providing the best experience for your customers.
- Adopt strategies and polices for scale out, not just scale up. Most IT shops understand scale up. However, cloud brings a new facet to the table, which is scale out. IT has a great opportunity to define how this will occur and be managed within their organization if they get out in front of it. If not, a high-priced consultant will be brought in to assist at the executive level, because management will not ignore the financial implications of cloud too much longer.
BrainWave Consulting’s Andrew S. Baker says that The Cloud is “neither panacea nor vaporware. Much of the hype is real, and proper utilization of it will benefit many businesses.” Baker’s advises:
- Learn about it. Knowledge is a great tool to combating fear. There are many excellent sources of information about what constitutes cloud and what its potential benefits are for an organization.
- Experiment with it. Start small, and at a personal/consumer level, but start looking at different technologies that are in the cloud. There’s a thread elsewhere on Focus that speaks of people’s favorite cloud apps, and products like DropBox, Evernote, Carbonite, etc. are mentioned. Seeing the benefit firsthand will have a positive impact.
- Get up to speed. Cloud computing is a sourcing model for business resources, and by understanding how to use it, one can stay ahead of the curve, rather than being dragged along unwillingly.
IT workers who feel threatened by cloud computing might not fully understand what cloud computing is, says Scott Archibald, president of Accelerated Business Consulting. He suggests that The cloud “can’t replace IT, but it can be used as part of an IT transformation, and within one part of that transformation there may be the need to strategically look at IT skill sets today and where they should be.”
Archibald advises IT workers to “learn about cloud computing and how it can help them in their current job. Many cloud vendors have tools and best practices that can be leveraged for running your internal services better. The more IT workers know and understand about cloud computing, the more likely they are to be able to recommend a potential business use case within their company.”
SummaLogic’s Robert Keahey echoes those sentiments, focusing on the opportunities that cloud computing offers. “Unless you are so tightly focused on a very narrow, singular career path or technology, then there are many opportunities for personal and professional development. Here are a few:
- Application Development. The whole model of application development is being turned upside-down. It’s no longer just about languages, it’s about platforms. aPaaS (application Platform as a Service) is creating a new and exciting models for application ‘construction.’
- Cloud Architecture. The cloud is supposed to make things simpler, right? Well, maybe not. Designing the right mix of private, hybrid, and public cloud services will be a major undertaking in the future. … People who can figure out the right balance of infrastructure, services, security, policies, and governance to make clouds a viable option will be a valuable asset.
- Big Data Architecture. Talk about a wide open field. The rate at which data is being created is staggering. But correlating that data and extracting value from it will be an even bigger challenge. Gathering up all the relevant social data that lives in The Cloud, and then figuring out how to turn it into an competitive advantage will be worth lots of money.
What advice do you think IT workers need to hear so they stop dreading The Cloud? As an IT professional, what are your concerns? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
About the Author
Alec Wagner is a writer, editor, custom content specialist, and content marketing professional. A former managing editor of infoworld.com, he has trained his eye on the enterprise technology space for more than a dozen years. A longtime digital nomad, he divides his time between San Francisco and the South of France. He remembers to thank The Cloud daily for enabling his globetrotting ways. Mr. Wagner’s only fear of The Cloud is being without it.