‘The Cloud’ is one of those IT buzzwords that has been floating around for years. Despite promises of people working flexibly from homes, coffee shops and wherever they happen to be, thanks to the flexibility it offers, most offices have remained rigidly structured, and reliant on ways of working that were developed in the 1980s, when office computer use first became widespread.
In many ways, this is not surprising; the most significant barrier to adoption of new technology is often not the tech itself, but the culture around it. IT departments often have little say in the way that a company is run, their job is merely to follow the whims of upper management, and ensure that they are carried out as quickly as possible. As an IT department will need the support of the CEO, operations managers and HR, to roll out any significant shift to cloud-based computing options, many companies have remained stuck with their previous choices.
This is now starting to change, and the primary reason for it, is that cloud computing options are substantially cheaper than the setups that they are replacing. This suddenly means that this type of transition, challenging as it may be, now appeals to the top brass of a company, that needs to get behind any project like this for it to happen.
The main issue that both sets of people will have to overcome is getting employees to accept new ways of doing things. This can often be difficult, particularly if the previous methods of working have been in place for a significant period of time. It can be a good idea to provide incentives and specific periods of time for people to make any changes that are required, to ease the transition process. If you expect people to adapt to significant changes, and don’t reduce other parts of their workload to compensate at the beginning, you could end up with very negative employee perceptions of the system.
It’s also worth taking a bit of time to reassure your team that cloud working isn’t designed to increase the amount of work that they’re doing. Many employees fear that easy access to email, and other work systems, wherever they happen to be, will increase the demands made on them to keep on top of tasks, outside of their core working hours. Dismantling these objections will make the roll-out of your new systems far easier.