Coca-Cola: How to move a 100 year old brick and mortar firm into the cloud #CloudWF

Onyeka Nchege, the CIO of Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated, cited the importance of education and adaptability in how to transform a brick and mortar business to the cloud.

Speaking during the keynote of Cloud World Forum in London, Nchege noted that the 100 year old company, consistently voted as one of the most powerful global brands, has partially migrated to the cloud with technology not a huge standpoint.

"A lot of folks tend to focus on the technology...but you realise very quickly the technology isn't where you want to focus your time to begin with," he told delegates.

Coca-Cola has moved what Nchege called 'non critical' apps, such as HR and time-keeping, into the cloud, with a look on migrating core ERP in the near future. "If my HR partner were here, he'd kill me for saying this stuff is non-critical," he joked.

Nchege noted the five important reasons companies can move into the cloud: ownership, collaboration, feedback, adaptability and execution.

In the majority of these cases, it boils down to education. "If you don't start to educate your business partners, you'll find yourself on the reactive side of cloud in figuring out what you're trying to do differently," Nchege explained.

Collaboration was equally important - if you know the processes that run your organisation, then it makes the decision over what goes into the cloud and what doesn't much easier.

"The reality is, everything isn't going to cloud," Nchege added.

The CIO admitted that feedback and collaboration went hand in hand - 'truly understanding and listening to your business partners' - yet adaptability was arguably the biggest factor of all. "It's having the vision to see what's comng, and be able to react to that today," Nchege said.

He added: "The assumption is every organisation is agile, nimble, stop on a dime and change directions as needed.

"The reality is: [we're a] 100 year old organisation. We are not that agile in everything we do, and so we can't always stop on a dime, change business processes, and be good. It doesn't always work that way."

Again, education was the key. "We ought to start now, taking the necessary steps to move into the cloud," he added.

Nchege also noted that in the next three to five years, he believed that Coca-Cola would be utilising a public cloud.

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