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How to Create a Cloud Computing Culture

How to Create a Cloud Computing Culture

How to Create a Cloud Computing Culture

Written by David Linthicum exclusively for Nelson Hilliard

Now that cloud computing is the new normal, it’s a company’s culture that holds the cloud back, not technology. 

It’s usually not technology issues that stop cloud implementations; more often than not, it’s the people.  Office politics, unrealistic expectations, and general stupidity are the common culprits that hinder cloud computing use within many enterprises. 

2008’s vocal opponents to cloud computing are mostly quiet in 2018.  However, they are still lurking about.  Today they use closed-door conversations to call the cloud into question, often for the wrong reasons.  Thus, the culture is toxic around the use of cloud computing as well as any other new technologies that may prove to be innovative and useful. 

Today cloud computing has some true momentum.  Projects are beginning to ramp up, despite any opposition that still exists around the use of public cloud resources.  However, push cloud computing onto an IT culture that is just not having it and the project becomes as difficult as it is likely to fail.

In order to change cultures, many CIOs have just fired those who are impeding progress.  While you can certainly scare people into agreeing with you, at least publically, it’s counter-productive.  You trade a culture problem for a morale problem, and I would rather have the culture problem. 

Changing hearts and minds around the use of any technology is a process, and one that begins with engaging everyone in the evaluation and implementation of the technology.  Create a small ad-hoc team of those who question the use of cloud computing, and task them with “getting to the truth” around the value of this technology, including working a small proof-of-concept cloud project.  An sample project would be the implementation of a small storage system, or something else that can be accomplished quickly and with only a small amount of risk. 

A few things are likely to happen.  First, those given the power to evaluate cloud computing for the company are likely to take the task to heart and provide a sound evaluation of the technology, including the pros and cons.  Second, they are likely to feel empowered, and thus open their minds a bit around the use of new technology, including cloud computing.  Finally, you’ll get some good data points around the work that’s done, and use that information to adjust your cloud computing plans. 

If you’re faced with a no-cloud culture, perhaps this is something to try.  Change takes time, and most people will eventually come around if given the chance.  Something else to keep in mind; their arguments might have some valid points.               

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David S. Linthicum is a managing director and chief cloud strategy officer at Deloitte Consulting, and an internationally recognized industry expert and thought leader.
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