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Stakeholders – Get buy-in on your cloud strategy and roadmap

Stakeholders – Get buy-in on your cloud strategy and roadmap

800px-Cloud-ComputingCloud computing is a hot topic and a major buzzword today. As every employee is making use of one or multiple cloud tools, cloud adoption in the enterprise is driven by personal use. As CIO you see a real opportunity for your enterprise to go into the cloud, your company’s stakeholders might not think the same way.

Cloud computing is not the easiest concept to sell to stakeholders, but when you make it obviously clear that cloud services can help the business in a big way, they’ll be more receptive to your proposal. IT professionals need to convince business stakeholders that cloud technology projects will bring value and will align with the organization’s business objectives.

Here is some advices you should take into consideration when trying to convince your company’s stakeholders to adopt and support your cloud strategy and roadmap:

  1. Identify and analyze your stakeholders. First, understand your stakeholder’s priorities; what risks might concern them and how do they feel about new technologies. How much are they concerned about business processes and IT?

  2. Clearly identify the business needs that might be achieved through cloud adoption. This is crucial; if you don’t have a solid understanding of the business drivers it will be a hard internal sell.

  3. Speak their language. As cloud technologies need to be a facilitator for the business processes, IT executives must use business terms and connect their discourse with real business processes that might be improved.

  4. Explain the risks. This implies presenting them both the benefits and risks of adopting cloud technologies. Stakeholders are aware that any change has both benefits and risks, don’t try to ignore the dark side. You need to think from a business-perspective.

  5. Come with a timeline. Cloud computing comes with a major benefit – you can get up relatively quickly and start to see the benefits – as quickly as going to Amazon and logging in. Bring your CEO a timeline and an easy project to get started with. Remember: don’t bite off more than you can chew, start small; starting with a smaller project will safeguard the rest of your company’s transition.

  6. Emphasize the mobility benefit. For sure, many stakeholders travel a lot or don’t spend their time in front of their desk.  Emphasize the higher productivity their company could benefit from if all employees could access their work anytime anywhere. In the end this is one of the most important advantage of cloud technologies and you should explain this.

I also recommend you have a detailed assessment on the physical infrastructure that is being moved to the cloud. This will allow you to validate risks, understand the migration costs, project plans and ongoing cloud costs.  A detailed assessment and plan will arm you with the necessary business cases to support your proposal.

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