he “Cloud” is a different way of thinking than what the business community has experienced in the IT world over the past several decades. Because it is such a different approach, there are organizations that are slower to adopt it for a variety of reasons. In past blog posts we have discussed the benefits of moving to the cloud and today we will touch on how to do it. First, any time you make a change in an organization, education is essential for the buy-in for that change. In the case of technology, educating the end users on why the change is being made is essential. It is important that they understand the benefits and how the new technology will affect them.
This can be especially important with the IT staff. When moving to a cloud computing model, the internal IT employees may feel threatened that their jobs will be eliminated. However, in most cases, moving to the cloud enables the staff to focus on more strategic initiatives. Communicating this message is very important to get their buy-in and most IT professionals will be pleased to know that many of their mundane tasks will be eliminated and they will be able to focus their efforts on more innovative projects.
Secondly, the easier it is for end users to understand and use the technology, the quicker the adoption rate will be. Therefore, training is a key part of the implementation process. The right training will minimize any productivity bumps in the transition. If working with an IT services provider, you can lean on them for the training support.
The third area of consideration when moving to the cloud is the migration. Many organizations, especially those with years and years of legacy data think the migration process will be overwhelming; however, with the right technology partner, this can be streamlined and simplified. If possible, handling the migration in phases is the best approach as not all data or systems often need to be up in the cloud immediately.
Which brings up another point – planning. Like any major project, planning is essential in moving to the cloud. The larger the project, the more important it is to break up the project into phases, especially when your organization is new to the cloud. Piloting one department or moving one technology (i.e. your infrastructure or a certain software application) will prove beneficial in the long run.
Many organizations, especially with internal IT departments, will want to handle the move on their own, using their existing resources in order to “save money”; however, finding a service provider that specializes in cloud computing will lessen your risk for problems to occur, reduce costs and free your IT staff to focus on innovation vs. mundane, day-to-day tasks. Check out our recent posts on “Tips on Selecting a Managed Services Provider” and “What to Focus on When Choosing an Infrastructure-as-a-Service Provider”.
Moving to the cloud may seem like a major undertaking, but with the proper planning, partner and patience an organization will be able to reap the benefits that so many businesses are experiencing today.