Several years ago I broadcasted a poll on LinkedIn gauging professional colleagues’ and acquaintances’ opinions on the hype vs. reality of “Cloud”. It was relatively early in, so the verdict was still out, and the response was fairly mixed.
Fast forward and Cloud is something that won over techies and adventurous users; it was trickled to and widely embraced by the consumer first, (see YouTube, Facebook, Gmail, eBay, oh yeah- LinkedIn) and the Enterprise later. Despite this fact, change management continues to be the key to a trouble free journey to the enterprise Cloud- much more of a strategic consideration and much less of an afterthought.
That verdict on the reality of Cloud is now in, and as many of us in IT suspected, it is much more than hype and more like a revolution; spawning similar revolutions such as Big Data (verdict is still out for some, but those in “the know” recognize the pattern): the proverbial “tip-of-the-iceberg”. Though after passing through the boardroom and making it through Finance, one of the last hurdles in your enterprise migration is actually getting your users to embrace the change.
Here are some benefits that we’ve found from experience make the changes more enticing, and therefore easier overall:
BYOD- People love their tech gadgets, and by using your own iPad at work it not only makes users comfortable but gives people a way to almost play “hooky” from their ball-and-chain PCs and laptops
Processes- Cloud can automate and streamline many of the tedious and disruptive functions your users would love to see gone. Oftentimes we see members of an enterprise salesforce who can perform quotes, sign contracts, etc right from their tablet
Teleworking- Statistics show that because people feel more conscientious about the fact that they aren’t in the office, they are more diligent about time spent working from home, including leveraging that wasted commute time
GTD- We work primarily with Google and Google Enterprise technologies, and find that features like Google Hangouts, live simultaneous Document editing, respond to email by chat and more help keep things flowing as opposed to users jumping in and out of multiple systems
Change Management is all about planning and being proactive. Every enterprise is going to be different, and one thing that goes a long way is leveraging your Comms and/or HR teams to conduct polls and put the feelers out before the whole ball gets rolling. There is also technology out there that can analyze and report on way your users utilize your current systems for data that ends up being valuable in migration scenarios.
Above all, work closely with both the stakeholders and the IT management team to ensure that you have the “Before” and “After” views for your Architecture and your Corporate Culture when all of the changes take place. Strive for universal governance and resist siloed clouds for different services within the organization.
If you have any questions on cloud, cloud migration, change management or related subjects feel free to contact email@example.com