Cultural changes when moving to the cloud

Technology issues don't typically stop or disrupt cloud implementations. More often than not, it's the people and the culture that cause challenges.

Here, Rufus Grig outlines five cultural adjustments that organisations need to make in order to fully embrace the shift of a range services to the cloud and to unlock the benefits.

One: Master the art of negotiation.

When an organisation moves to the cloud, you are outsourcing a huge amount of infrastructure that fundamentally impacts your ability as a business to operate. Therefore the ability to negotiate a good contract will become one of the most significant IT skills in the very near future.

The blend of skills here is quite extraordinary – from legal, to commercial and technical. But the most difficult skill to master when moving to the cloud is the ability to see into the future. When they are your people managing software you have licenced on your servers under your roof, you can change direction quickly. In a multi-year cloud or managed service deal, they are not your people, they are not your servers, and it’s probably not your software.

Two: Learn to let go.

The IT department has to avoid being the “man in the middle” if no value’s being added. Some cloud services offer quite discrete and self-contained services back into a business. In some cases, it might be best to let the cloud provider interface direct into the business function owners rather than going through a layer of IT.

Three: Focus on lightbulb moments, not keeping the lights on.

No longer being responsible for keeping the dust off the server blades creates an opportunity for IT – to focus on innovation and business change. It’s the move from fixing broken systems, to fixing business problems. This can be an exhilarating opportunity if people are willing to grasp it.

Four: Say “yes” more.

Businesses should get more used to hearing a “yes” when asked for IT services, instead of being conditioned to two year workstacks and “that’s not high enough up the priority list” type replies. The availability of cloud services to resolve point two above can help business stay agile: deploy quickly, use while you need it, and then spin-down the service is the promise. And sometimes it can even be the reality too!

Five: Train or recruit the right people and skills.

IT technicians who like hardware support, building blade servers, managing backups and monitoring hardware alarms can carry on doing those things – but they will have to go and work for a cloud provider to do it. Instead focus on hiring or upskilling people who can effectively work as analysts and look to innovate and deliver truly transformational IT projects.

If you’re wondering how the cloud fits into your business or are unsure what the next steps are – talk to us about the best strategy for and approach to moving your UC to the cloud.