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A few years ago, cloud computing was seen as a mechanism to save cost. Companies didn’t have to own and run their own data centers. They didn’t have to own infrastructure or buy software. As cloud has matured, so has this perception. Organizations are seeing cloud as a platform for increased agility. Some are now using it as a platform for innovation. It’s a core part of their business, driving productivity, innovation and competitiveness. It’s not only about reducing cost.
I recently ran a Design Thinking workshop at the Cloud and Infrastructure Summit. At this event — run by Computing magazine — attendees from a wide range of companies discussed their cloud experiences. Each team had an IBM facilitator to kick off the topics and feedback to the whole group to ensure a lively debate. We started by looking at creating personas for each team which included:
- Line of Business executive
- Application Developer
- Head of IT
Each group then discussed the challenges and inhibitors in moving to cloud.
Before adopting cloud
Some groups had the view that their users might not like this new solution. They were happy with the “as-is” and didn’t see a need to change technology or practices. Other concerns included the worry that cloud wouldn’t deliver what the business needed. There was the perennial fear that cloud reduces the need for IT staff. Finally, concerns were expressed over a lack of involvement in the adoption of cloud.
On the positive side, the groups saw cloud as a way to allow IT to take on new business opportunities. There was also a desire to save money and to be able to do more with less.
Concerns and positives
A few key themes emerged here. Who can see my data and is it secure in the cloud? Will it help us get to market quicker and improve customer engagement? There was the impact on day-to-day operations and whether cloud was mature enough. Access to knowledge and skills was a clear concern. People skilled in the new methods and processes are in short supply. Questions also arose of how companies could become more creative with cloud.
Having discussed the view before moving to cloud, we wanted to also look to the future.
Having moved to the cloud, users saw opportunities for improved collaboration. They saw increased responsiveness to take on new business opportunities. Cloud would give rise to increased freedom via access to data from anywhere and at any time.
The ability to react to user feedback and changing business demands would be key. This increased agility and a new mindset would drive better customer engagement.
Groups saw a chance to save costs by only paying for consumed services. This positive was counter to harder to predict, variable costs. There was also a concern over lost staff.
A common theme was around data which in today’s digital world is a company’s most valuable asset. The value of data is in extracting insights to drive better decision making. Cloud helps clients gain competitive advantage from their data.
Alongside the workshop, we have a short video explaining how one client — BuzzRadar — has adopted cloud. This talks to these data challenges and shows how the cloud solves them.
Personalized workshop at your location: Your cloud journey
If you’re interested in a Design Thinking workshop for your organization, sign up here.