How to Talk to Your Business Partners About the Cloud
By Brian Dainis
Successful companies are a little like a gourmet dish.
In a perfectly seasoned, exquisitely prepared main dish, lots of different ingredients come together in perfect harmony to create an experience. Each ingredient exists as part of the dish because of the unique elements it offers. The combination of those ingredients, in the right amounts, create a singular expression of the combined elements that the individual ingredients could never accomplish on their own.
In a successful company, you bring together a lot of different experts with many different skill sets. Each one is critically important to the continued success of the business. And each one has a different set of skills than the others.
And while those differences create the optimal environment, ensuring the diversity of skills are completely represented to handle all of the situations a company may face, it can make certain conversations more challenging.
For instance, when technology leaders try to talk to their peers about subjects like the cloud. Business leaders within an organization have their own knowledge sets and subjects in which they are well versed. But the cloud may not be one of them. In fact, it’s unlikely to be something they have spent much time getting a firm grasp of.
So how do you talk to your peers about a subject as important – and potentially beneficial to your organization’s bottom line – as the cloud? How do you get buy-in from your business partners on a subject that even some technologist have a hard time grasping?
The 3 Challenges of Talking to the Business About the Cloud
Leveraging the cloud within your organization comes with a unique set of challenges and hurdles, from staff training and role definition to organizational adoption. Without buy-in from the business, however, a move to the cloud can stop before it even starts. Some of the questions the business needs answered haven’t changed, while others have evolved in parallel with cloud services offerings.
In all of the discussions you may have around cloud adoption with your business counterparts, the talks will likely boil down to 3 themes – education, value vs risk (from a business perspective) and security concerns.
It’s unlikely that a discussion will contain only one of those themes, in fact, and they aren’t dissimilar to what is needed in any other conversation regarding business assets and investments. The complication here is the conceptual nature of the cloud, and how it represents a vastly different mindset in modern business.
Be Ready to Teach
It’s because of the conceptual nature of the cloud and the shift in thinking required to fully understand its value to your organization that all conversations with your peers must start with some education.
That can be challenging when it feels like we’ve been talking about the cloud in one form or another forever. But even within IT, there are people who don’t truly understand the cloud. It’s hardly fair to expect those outside IT to see the value when they don’t really understand what it is.
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