May 2016

The Politics of Cloud Computing

When companies adopt a cloud computing solution, problems are sure to arise. For example, many technical and economic issues can create headaches for IT managers. One problem many companies do not foresee, however, is the internal strife that can arise when transitioning to the cloud. This strife can create internal politics in your organization, which need to be planned for and addressed.
Potential issues include programmers who don’t want to relinquish control of their software programs and servers because they may have difficulty deploying application updates. Users may resist cloud computing due to fear of change or the unknown. Financial managers may worry about the costs associated with adopting new technologies.
Even with potential disruptions, it is possible to get your team onboard with transitioning to the cloud. These best practices will show you the way.

Meeting the challenges of cloud computing adoption

The first way to mitigate concerns is to communicate the benefits your company will receive from cloud computing adoption. Discuss how adoption will save the company money by reducing the IT investment needed for using software as a service (Saas), as well as by reducing the maintenance workload for the IT department. Explain which cloud offerings you are considering, along with the benefits of each one.
The next way to ease discomfort is to address the specific concerns your employees have. Are they worried about security breaches? Do they dread having to learn a new way of doing things? Or, are they simply uncomfortable with a new wave of changes brought on by cloud adoption? Do your research and prepare answers to any questions your staff is likely to raise.
Often, problems arise when managers and departments are competing for resources. You will need to take a team approach. Take into consideration the varying needs of different cloud computer participants. For example, finance directors must consider data protection, environmental and other laws, not to mention costs and risks. CIOs have to manage a mixed and complicated environment. End-users may only have SaaS experience as consumers and software developers will have to evolve to the new ecosystem.
As part of the team approach, you may want to create a specialized team first to address the business issues that will arise with cloud adoption, as well as an IT team that actually implements the adoption.
Starting small is wise for adopting any big changes, and this holds true for transitioning to the cloud. Preparing your company for these changes should begin with significant consolidation activities first, before moving into the actual implementation of cloud technologies.
Recognizing potential problems before they arise will help your organization adopt cloud computing at a greater speed, with fewer headaches. Like crisis planning, the best way to tackle these problems is to plan for them before they occur. Doing so will ensure that cloud adoption is no crisis at all, just a shift in IT practices that will benefit your company.