Digital transformation is changing how organizations in every industry approach their business strategy, serving as the foundation of their technology initiatives. Chief among this includes cloud adoption, which is not just a path to IT savings, but also increasingly where companies are leveraging new ways of doing business for competitive advantage.
The success of cloud initiatives depends on the ability of people, processes, and technology to deliver on the value promised. While IT roles such as cloud architects and others working directly with the cloud are essential for managing day-to-day cloud operations, it’s equally important that business stakeholders including C-suite, finance, legal, procurement, and other internal units have sufficient understanding of the cloud to ensure the most effective strategy and solutions.
Here are four reasons why you need to include business stakeholders in cloud training:
1. Capitalize on the business opportunities of the cloud
By 2020, analysts at IDC expect nearly two-thirds of all enterprise IT spending to be on cloud-based initiatives. Inside the enterprise, cloud technologies touch most aspects of the business. Therefore, your cloud strategy, including how you will move to the cloud, the selection of vendors and technologies, deployment models, and more will require buy-in from and engagement with multiple areas of the business to ensure that choices align with business goals and priorities. A high-level understanding of how the cloud works, the benefits it offers, and the capabilities it unlocks will be necessary for every level of the business to best capitalize on the benefits of the cloud.
2. Lay the groundwork for a smooth transition
In the enterprise, different areas of the business with have their own requirements and concerns that need to be addressed in their migration strategy. Service disruptions and cost reduction will be primary concerns for operations, while compliance and data security will be priorities for IT and governance. All stakeholders will benefit from an understanding of the impact cloud will have on the workloads and processes specific to their area of the business.
This is especially important as cloud migrations themselves become more complex. As cloud adoption matures, it’s becoming increasingly rare for organizations to rely on a single platform or a single cloud model for all of their requirements. According to IDC, over 85% of enterprise IT will choose a mixed architecture approach in 2018, consisting of multi-cloud, hybrid cloud architectures, public and private cloud services.
All areas of the business that migrate workloads and applications will be impacted by the choices that underpin your migration strategy and priorities. Business stakeholders who understand vendor platforms and the different service options will be better positioned to provision for budgeting, planning, and the upskilling that will be required for teams to support a smooth migration.
3. It will make your business more secure
The impact of a breach of the information contained in your cloud deployments makes cloud security not just an IT concern, but a business concern since it affects finance and public reputation. While the cloud requires a different security approach compared to on-premises infrastructure, much concern about the security of cloud technology is misplaced. Instead, many vulnerabilities can be traced back to a lack of understanding of cloud security and a shortage of the skills necessary to implement effective security measures. Gartner predicts that through 2020, the majority of failures in cloud security will be the fault of the customer, not the provider.
By training business stakeholders, you can help ensure that haste is not prioritized over thoughtfulness. A comprehensive security strategy requires that teams architect secure cloud solutions and pay attention to access control, identity management, compliance, and data security. All stakeholders should know how the shared responsibility model works and how your organization’s specific security policies affect job roles.
4. It’s an opportunity to stay current
The pace of change in IT means that organizations must be prepared to keep growing and innovating. Cloud ecosystem technologies are evolving rapidly and vendors are making new capabilities available at a breakneck pace. Leading platforms like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure are racing to add new features and services to their portfolios. They are all investing heavily in artificial intelligence and machine learning to make it easier for developers to experiment with and adopt these new technologies without the infrastructure investment/ This allows companies to be more competitive, faster.
IDC predicts that cloud will become more intelligent and industry-specialized over the next several years, with companies moving closer and closer to “cloud-only.” To stay ahead of digital transformation, all areas of the business will require a strategy for keeping skills current with the dynamic pace of change.
No matter where your organization stands on the digital transformation curve, customer expectations will continue to rise, technologies will evolve, and competitors will continue to race ahead.
Continuous upskilling and reskilling are competitive necessities and an investment in your ability to grow and scale for years to come. To embrace this new paradigm, companies are embracing a new vision of learning. It’s one that includes all stakeholders, both business and IT, and it focuses on building actionable, meaningful, and measurable skills as a matter of practice.
Originally published at cloudacademy.com on August 29, 2018.