Clouds Ahead

Jan 3 2012   1:26PM GMT

The Cloud’s People Challenge

Pedro Pereira Pedro Pereira Profile: Pedro Pereira

Hitching your IT wagon to the cloud carries organization and personnel implications. This means the deployment of a cloud-based environment requires doing new things that are bound to cause initial discomfort.

This is certainly the case if you are one of those organizations with a sprawling IT department operating in separate silos. In such scenarios, different teams own different components of your IT environment, and they don’t necessarily work together to meet common goals.

Teams could be separated by function, so you might have some folks working on security and business continuity, while another group handles network infrastructure, and yet another handles databases and related applications. Even worse, you could have separate teams performing the same functions but in different locations with different equipment and application versions.

Employees organized by function or location don’t necessarily report to the same managers, so you end up with organization issues not only in the IT infrastructure itself but also the people who run it.

Things can get pretty messy in corporate IT. Often poor growth planning and mergers are the principal causes. Systems that should be communicating operate independently while policies and processes vary from one location to another.

You could have separate teams performing the same functions but in different locations with different equipment and application versions.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out this kind of hodgepodge setup is an efficiency killer that potentially exposes an organization to security risks and data loss.

But try to fix it, and you may actually hit some roadblocks. Especially if you mention the cloud.

This is where you run into personnel issues, with people trying to protect their jobs. It’s a natural reaction but left unchecked, it is detrimental to day-to-day operations and future strategic planning. A poorly designed IT infrastructure managed through separate IT fiefdoms will surely encumber any organization’s growth.

So any plan to move IT assets to the cloud has to cover the question of how to get IT personnel buy-in. A downsizing in personnel may be in order, but not necessarily so. That of course depends on how much of the technology you keep in house, in a private or hybrid cloud environment, and the level of service you get from your cloud providers.

For some companies, there is an opportunity to shift the focus of the IT staff away from day-to-day functions to strategy. And that, when you think about it, is one of the benefits of the cloud – refining your strategic focus.

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  • JONdesign1
    No matter how many times I talk up the multiple benefits of cloud computing to clients and co-workers I too get these same roadblocks. Some are of course just selfish job protection but the majority are wild misperceptions. It would be nice if we could put together a point by point list refuting some of the more wild and outlandish arguments against cloud migration.
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