Why Cloud Conversations Must be More Than Tech Talk
Whenever the topic turned to technology, board level executives and IT may not have always fully understood what the other was saying, but they still found a way to communicate their needs.
The arrangement they worked out was straightforward. The CFO signed checks to fill requisitions submitted by the CIO – or whichever resident tech expert called the shots – for new computers, software and network equipment. That was viewed as a necessary cost of doing business just as long as the new technology helped improve efficiency and was within the corporate budget. For its part, the C-level side of the house had no need to immerse itself in speeds and feeds because it needed to focus on larger, strategic issues.
But any migration to the cloud involves a new set of considerations and each side – IT and the business leadership – must understand how the cloud migration will align with the enterprise’s larger business strategy.
However, if you rely on IT to sell the benefits of the cloud, the pitch is likely to turn into a narrow technology discussion. It’s likely that the C-level may already have some surface familiarity with the cloud. But board level execs want to understand what the cloud will also do in terms of corporate agility and innovation for the entire business and not just the impact on the data center.
Here’s where an experienced MSP can help with the big picture and make sure that nothing gets lost in translation.
Points to Stress
Cost-reduction clearly features in any discussion about cloud computing, but that’s just the starting point. Other areas to note include:
Innovation: Cloud implementation frees up resources to help the business grow as well as to become more innovative. One of the big promises of the cloud is what it does to foster business agility and the greater availability it offers to computing resources when needed. That helps reduce the time needed to deliver various projects, improving a company’s competitive edge by allowing it to experiment and test different products and services to find out which ones best resonate with customers.
Resource allocation: Clients no longer need to be concerned about having access to sufficient processing power or storage. They may not be aware how much greater data center capacity they can tap into while avoiding the hefty expenses associated with the maintenance and upkeep of hardware and infrastructure.
Redirecting IT: The IT department will no longer have to be responsible for buying, testing and installing hardware and software. The process now involves the selection of the best configurations from a service catalog. This should spur IT to develop more non-technical skills and capabilities in areas such as contract management, or performance management that are more closely aligned with overall business requirements than the department’s traditional focus on technical skills such as software configuration.
Collaboration: The cloud also helps productivity by allowing employees to work from almost any location, remotely accessing files, data, documents and IT tools.
Cost: The new investment model is based on operational expenditure. Instead of committing to expensive, large-scale capital projects, clients source their IT services in the cloud and become consumers of IT services instead of in-house hardware owners. At the same time, the responsibility for maintenance and continuance of service now falls on the cloud computing provider
This content is underwritten by VMware — and is editorially independent. It is produced in accordance with conventional standards of business journalism.
Charles Cooper is an award-winning freelance author who writes about business and technology. During his 30-plus year career, he has worked as an executive editor at several leading tech publications including CNET, ZDNet, PC Week and Computer Shopper.