Why the culture shift is the most important factor in your cloud strategy

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In a recent study which spoke with 300 companies on cloud adoption, 82% of the enterprises stated they had a hybrid cloud strategy, up from 74% in 2014. The continual growth of cloud adoption, in particular for enterprises, is becoming increasingly tricky to ignore.

Before you make this big step, however, there are a number of factors you must take into consideration. What vendor will you select? How will you implement the most effective cloud strategy? And, most importantly of all, how will this impact the company culture and the workforce as a whole?

It’s a factor that can often slip a company’s mind, but the culture shift that can occur from enterprise cloud adoption could have damaging ramifications if not handled correctly. Implement it the right way, however, and you enable your workforce and company to hit the ground running, embracing the many positives that come with such a change. It’s up to you. 

Implementing a culture shift

You’ve chosen your cloud provider. You’ve implemented an effective enterprise-wide strategy. The next, and arguably most important step, is to make the culture shift as applicable and seamless as possible. Many within your workforce may be used to working a certain way for some time now. They’ve relied on emails and documents for communication and have yet to fully experience this form of cloud collaboration. It may be a shock to their working day system. It’s therefore your responsibility to prepare your workforce for this adjustment, highlighting the benefits, and educating them on a new way of collaborating. 

A survey of several hundred companies by CMSWire found that social, interactive communications, and collaboration technologies resulted in significant benefits, including a 15% increase in productivity across the average enterprise, 2%-4% increase in overall revenue, 21% reduction in email, and 16% decrease in meetings. The benefits of cloud collaboration are there to be seen. You must now highlight this to your workforce, guiding them accordingly. 

The why

A company’s employees are its most important commodity. If they aren’t motivated, engaged or in line with a new cloud adoption, the odds of it succeeding plummets substantially. Unhappy or unengaged employees equals lower productivity, which costs American businesses alone over $300 billion a year. On the other hand, companies with happy employees outperform competition by 20%, are 2.1% above industry benchmarks, and earn 1.2%-1.7% more than peer firms. Quite simply, you can’t afford to have your workforce displeased or uneducated on your cloud adoption and the benefits that come with it. 

If there’s one keyword that belongs alongside an enterprise cloud platform, it’s collaboration. Cloud adoption provides tools for co-workers to communicate with ease, encouraging a collaborative work culture. That collaborative culture, however, can’t come to fruition if the workforce isn’t on board with the changes, or isn’t trained appropriately. 

The how

Implementing a culture shift for an entire organisation can’t be achieved overnight. It requires time, patience, knowledge sharing, training, and strong leadership. Firstly, don’t spring this change on your workforce without warning. Inform everyone of the cloud adoption plans before implementing them, and start a back and forth discussion. Does everyone understand the changes? Do people have concerns? Are people fully aware of the benefits aligned with this platform? If you can resolve these issues and queries beforehand, you’ll be able to provide a far more effective and unified culture shift.

The proof is in the cloud-filled pudding. By 2018, more than 60% of enterprises will have at least half of their infrastructure on cloud-based platforms. It’s a platform that is assisting companies worldwide, and the benefits are clear to see. It’s on you, however, to make these benefits clear to the rest of your workforce, along with having them fully prepared before the new platform is implemented. Doing so will enable everyone within the organisation to embrace their new cloud adoption with great energy, involvement, and competence.

Forefront of adoption

By 2017, cloud adoption is expected to hit $250 billion, with the worldwide software as a service (SaaS) market growing at a rate of 20.2% every year. Enterprise cloud adoption shows no signs of slowing down. Stay one step ahead of your competitors by preparing your workforce for the impending changes, and putting them at the forefront of the adoption.

Enterprise cloud platforms concentrate heavily on collaboration. Surely you can’t expect your cloud platform to truly succeed if your workforce doesn’t have a collaborate culture? If you can implement this culture shift, then the often trickiest, and most vital part of the workplace transformation is already complete. 

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