The C-Suite’s Guide to Cloud Computing (and How it Could Benefit Your Department)

C-Suites Guide to Cloud Computing-736606-edited

The cloud: it’s not just for IT experts anymore.

Today, cloud-based technology is playing a role in the day-to-day dealings of almost every department within every organization, from finance to human resources to marketing. But unless you are the CIO (and, perhaps, even if you are), you may not have a clear understanding of how adopting a cloud computing strategy can pay off.

We’ve identified the top three benefits for each C-Suite executive and their respective department below, minus the CEO who needs to possess a high-level understanding of each. Because while there are certainly some benefit crossovers between departments, the CEO stands to gain from each and every one. 

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Cloud Computing and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

The CEO is the face of the company—the leader, decision-maker, and strategic vision-setter. But when it comes to finance, operations, marketing, and information technology, they’re likely to draw from the expertise of fellow C-level executives. That may be fine for day-to-day activities, but when it comes to the big picture and understanding the cloud, CEOs need to have knowledge of how this technology can impact and benefit not just the company as a whole, but each department.

Read on to gain an overall understanding of the cloud and what it can do for each member of your team and their department.

Cloud Computing and the Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

The CFO is not only responsible for accounting, investments, and financial analysis, but for seeking out new business opportunities and reducing costs. Because of this, a move to the cloud may be a no-brainer; here’s what it can do for the bottom line.

  • Save money. With cloud computing, hardware needs (as well as the cost of repair and replacement) is the cloud provider’s responsibility. Because repair is up to the vendor, internal labor and maintenance costs are also reduced.
  • Enjoy economies of scale. Rather than purchasing mediocre routers and software to save money, the cloud provides the power of shared resources; it allows users to share cloud space—and costs—with others in order to have access to the best equipment at an affordable price.
  • Be capital-expenditure free. By keeping servers off-site, the cloud helps recover valuable space while reducing costs such as maintenance, electricity, cooling, and licensing. That’s because some cloud models take a “pay as you go” approach; like a utility such as water or electric, you only pay for what you use.

Cloud Computing and the Chief information Officer (CIO)

The CIO is the C-Suite’s resident IT expert, but surprising as it may seem, not all CIOs have jumped on the cloud bandwagon. Why? They may have security concerns. Or they may simply feel that things are running just fine maintaining servers and software onsite. But here are three considerations that have even the most traditional of CIOs looking to the cloud.  

  • Transitioning to a profit center. With an outside vendor handling IT maintenance as well as the headaches of crashes, viruses, updates, and other time-consuming tasks, the IT department is freed up to sell their services and solutions through a capital and revenue model or become an internal service provider developing innovations that grow the overall business; ComputerWeekly recently highlighted two CIOs who each found success using one of these approaches..
  • Flexibility. Just as all IT departments are not created equal, neither are all cloud computing options. There’s private, public, virtual private, and hybrid clouding, as well as colocation options. So depending on your needs—size of data sets, sensitivity of data, accessibility needs, and more--there’s a cloud for that.
  • Increased security. Aside from the private clouding options just mentioned, there are other ways the cloud boosts security. It offers control over documents so that employees aren’t sending and receiving attachments of all types, and it allows for remote data retrieval and wiping if a laptop or mobile device is lost or stolen. According to NBC News, nearly 10 percent of data breaches in 2017 could be attributed to theft or negligence, and an increasingly mobile workforce could cause this to increase further.

Cloud Computing and the Chief Operating Officer (COO)

The COO leads the human resources department with the goal of ensuring a healthy corporate culture, along with overseeing employee recruitment, development, and engagement. The cloud can have a significant impact on these particular functions.

  • Employee onboarding. The first day of work for a new hire is often a whirlwind of paperwork—and a waste of valuable time. But the cloud simplifies the process of bringing in new talent, empowering HR personnel by allowing them to email nothing more than a link to new hires where the online equivalent of all paperwork is safely housed.
  • Building value. Much like IT departments of the past, HR if frequently viewed as a cost center. The cloud can help change this perception by reaching optimum headcount and reducing turnover. “Using cloud-based analytic tools, HR can put the right talent in the right jobs so the company is better equipped to achieve its financial goals,” says Mahadevan Natarajan, senior director at Oracle APAC. Research from MIT and IBM seems to concur; findings indicate that early adopters of talent and workforce analytics have resulted in 25 percent higher net operating income growth and 58 percent higher sales per employee.
  • Talent recruitment. It’s hard to attract the tech-savvy youngest members of the workforce when the company uses dated or antiquated equipment. By adopting the cloud, millennials—who now make up the largest workforce generation in the US—will see that the company is cutting edge, and one they are comfortable working with.

Cloud Computing and the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)

The CMO is always looking to improve internal and external marketing communications while gaining a better understanding of the customer through market research. The cloud can help, improving each of the following:

  • Content management. Marketers can use cloud-based software like Hubspot, an all-in-one integrated marketing tool, to easily create, manage, and deploy content across different mediums.
  • Collaboration. The cloud allows for easy communication and asset sharing between team members and clients. Plus, no more sending or receiving large mailbox-clogging attachments of various and sometimes incompatible formats.
  • Analytics analysis. With accurate real-time data at their fingertips through cloud-based software, marketing can gain a better understanding of their customers and adjust their marketing mix as necessary.

The cloud is no longer just a topic for IT experts. Its rapid adoption means every member of the C-Suite needs to have an understanding of its benefits, its power, and its potential. Ready to learn more or make the move? Get a free IT evaluation with DSM’s cloud computing experts and discover which cloud computing strategy is right for you.

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