Building a Cloud Culture to Get the Most Out of Your Investment

Cloud technology has taken the global economy by storm. Businesses now have the opportunity to utilize public, private, hybrid and hyperscale cloud models. However, there’s more to using cloud than meets the eye, and it should create more than just good ROI.

Cloud service integration goes far beyond the realm of the IT department and requires board-level leadership. Over the past few years, we have seen the need for organizations to embrace cloud culture. Below we discuss how your business can cultivate a cloud culture to reap all the benefits from the cloud.

Cultivating Cloud Culture Starts at the Top

Most organizations recognize that the cloud can potentially transform business operations by offering flexible, scalable and cost-effective infrastructure. However, before deploying a solution, it is imperative that companies take stock of their unique business requirements and ensure deployment decisions (both in-house and vendor-specific) match these unique needs.

Molding a cloud culture before migrating to the cloud will make this a much easier task, but it has to start from the top – with the Chief Technology Officer (CTO). It can be a delicate balance to reshape policies and workflows while preserving the core philosophies and drivers that initially propelled the company to success. The CTO can help guide organizations on this path without sacrificing anything.

Cloud culture includes every individual who comes in contact with the business – from the marketing department to IT security and even your customers. Each will be impacted by your move to—or change within— the cloud. If you encounter resistance from any of these groups once the transition is underway, operations will likely be impacted.

Aligning Everyone’s Vision

Cloud has the potential to link all aspects of a business efficiently and effectively. However, if cloud culture is not robust, the technology can cause confusion, disarray and siloed working – all the things you are trying to prevent.

A strong cloud culture enables businesses to make an exponentially more informed decision about exactly what kind of cloud infrastructure to adopt. Many companies are opting for a hybrid option because they feel it offers the highest levels of flexibility, efficiency and peace of mind. Because it is a colocated option, it is the perfect fit for many organizations and gives them the best chance of adapting to future challenges and evolving IT landscapes.

Building the Right Cloud Team

Cloud migration and cloud service management require a particular skill set. It’s unreasonable to expect an IT team that managed physical servers to be fluent in cloud computing – at least not until they have had cloud training. Existing IT staff might have to be taught new skills or your company might need to create a new cloud-specific position. Some of the most common positions today are cloud architect, cloud systems engineer, cloud network engineer and cloud security manager.

Choosing a Cloud Service Provider that is a True Partner

A cloud service provider has a large influence on an organization’s cloud culture. Each cloud provider has a different way of working, and businesses need to find the one that can meet their goals.

Working with a cloud provider that offers a vendor-neutral and flexible approach will ultimately make transitioning to any form of cloud strategy a much more straightforward undertaking. It will remove vendor lock-in issues that companies worry about and allow an organization’s cloud adoption strategy to develop and mature over time. It’s worth taking the time to research a cloud provider that works with all of the big names like Apache, Microsoft and VMware.   Those leading the cloud adoption process should also make sure their chosen provider has the flexibility to allow self-management in your own environments.

Going Beyond the Buzzword

Cloud computing has elevated past a simple buzzword. Its ability to deliver managed services that impact almost every area of a company’s operations means that cloud computing now needs a vocal, knowledgeable champion at the board level who can advocate for and implement a company-wide cloud culture. Cloud culture allows the necessary policies and best practices for a smooth transition that gets the most out of cloud adoption is essential – no matter what form it ultimately takes for them.