For organizations considering a move to the cloud, cost savings, security and compliance benefits are to be expected. While these factors serve to improve business, the cloud’s effect on employees should also be considered. Moving to the cloud can be a cultural change, and a successful transition requires that organizations keep employees in the loop to ensure they are on board with the switch.
Preparing IT Employees
Moving from on-premise servers to cloud services can be a bit intimidating for employees working within IT. By taking away the ability to replace a server, recover data from a backup, or add capacity to a database, IT employees may feel as if they are losing control. According to CIO Online, this perceived loss of control can leave them feeling as if they are service brokers rather than operators of their own IT assets; this can lead to pushback or complete resistance to cloud adoption. To ensure there’s not a mass exodus, it is important to stress to IT employees that having a cloud provider perform some of the tasks they typically handled (monitoring, updating, and patching, for example) will simply free up their time in order to become an internal service provider, developing innovations that grow the overall business.
There will likely be a learning curve for IT staff when moving to the cloud, and this should also be addressed. Some new skills will have to be acquired, such as learning user interfaces, application programming interfaces (APIs), and managing the cloud provider itself to guarantee service level agreement obligations are met. While some of these skills go beyond what has traditionally been expected of IT staff, they also offer an exciting opportunity to learn and grow. After all, the cloud has changed the way most companies approach IT, so learning to work with a cloud provider is just as beneficial to their career as it is to the business.
Preparing Other Employees
A migration to the cloud will affect more than just the IT staff. Employees across all departments will be affected by the need to embrace cloud-based solutions. It’s easy to assume that employees won’t care where their IT services and applications come from, but that’s not always the case. They may be comfortable with, or even devoted to their current applications, and the ways they access systems and data (which is likely to change when moving to the cloud). To combat any potential pushback, it can be helpful to share with employees the benefits of making the change. For one, it offers flexibility. While older generations are used to coming into an office every day, Millennials and Generation Z don’t understand the purpose of being tied down to one location when they can work from home, a coffee shop, or even the beach. In fact, studies show that 92% of millennials want the option to work from home, even if it’s just a day or two per week. By offering seamless integration between departments through file-sharing across any device, the cloud makes this possible (it can lead to greater efficiency too; nearly 30% of remote workers report they can accomplish more in less time when working from home). That’s not all. The cloud also helps save the planet! Data centers providing cloud services are designed for more efficient energy usage to reduce carbon emissions, and an understanding of this can increase employee acceptance.
Communication is Key
The move to the cloud can be a change that creates a temporary feeling of unease if not handled properly. Like any corporate change, a migration to the cloud should be communicated and rationalized with all employees (especially those in IT) to ensure a smooth transition. Thinking of making a move to the cloud? DSM, Florida’s preferred cloud provider, can make the transition easy, and answer any questions your employees may have. Contact us today to learn more.