• July 5, 2016

The Cloud Conversation: 4 Essential Arguments

Get senior leadership on board with the cloud by addressing these key concerns.

The enterprise forecast: spreading cloud coverage. Cloud computing services are being increasingly adopted, but is your leadership confident in the benefits? In its 2015 survey of IT leaders, IDG Enterprises found that despite across-the-board plans to increase spending on cloud computing services, a growing percentage of IT leaders report that senior leadership is wary of these distributed computing solutions. For senior leaders who need convincing, here are four areas to address.

Security

The IDG survey showed that security was top of mind for enterprises—and that it is growing in importance. When the enterprise is researching potential vendors, ask not only about their data security and compliance with your industry’s regulations, but also about business continuity, redundancy, and jurisdictional issues that apply if there are any breaches.

Long-Term Cost Projections

Cloud services, especially for enterprise-level data storage, typically show lower short-term costs. This is part of their appeal. But long-term costs can be harder to visualize, and the specter of ballooning costs after the first few years can put off even the most cloud-friendly executives. Look into the future, taking into account estimates of price increases and of the enterprise’s growth in the need for services. Build in estimates of costs to switch to a new provider, in case something goes wrong with the provider currently being pitched. Be realistic and transparent about possible costs so your leadership team doesn’t feel they have to commit to a complete unknown.

Vendor Stability

The cloud computing environment is still new, so it’s easy to see why some leaders are not ready to trust the long-term stability of SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS companies. Help reassure senior leadership by including estimates of the costs to move to a new vendor if it is necessary. Also ensure that the proposal is centered on a solid cloud vendor with a history of stellar service, either through its own longevity, or through the reputation of its leadership and previous companies leaders have been part of.

Staff Expertise

IT professionals who responded to RightScale’s 2016 State of the Cloud Report said their top concerns were resources and expertise.

Partner cloud proposals with plans for ongoing staff training to respond to new developments and technologies in cloud computing. This is of particular importance for enterprises that are planning for hybrid infrastructure or a mix of cloud services. IT staff will not only need to make sure their cloud services are providing the best and most cost-effective service, but they will also need to ensure that the services are working well together and serving employee and management needs. 

Including these potential pain points in your discussion can increase the success of the proposal, as well as the cloud solution itself. Addressing these key concerns of senior leadership will prepare the team to implement and support the cloud, and lay the groundwork for a successful migration.

Like this story? Read more about the great cloud takeover.