Why hiring a “cloud champion” simply isn’t enough

It feels like forever since businesses first started talking about their migration to the cloud. First it was email, then data storage, then CRM systems. Now, businesses are shifting their focus towards communication and collaboration, with video, voice conferencing, collaboration and live chat applications already on their way to the cloud.

While there’s no denying that a complete cloud migration is a mammoth task for any organisation to undertake, few businesses are even part of the way there.

Only one in 10 UK organisations (with more than 500 employees) have moved fully to the cloud, highlighted by Fuze’s research carried out among 900 CIOs and IT leaders. Less than half of those IT leaders say they’ve successfully completed a cloud migration across individual departments within their business.

>See also: The 4 different types of CTO

UK businesses were also found to lag behind the majority of the world, with 45% of organisations in the USA working with an entirely cloud-based IT approach.

Given this slow transition, what progress have UK businesses made when it comes to moving to the cloud in 2017?

A notable point of discussion over the last year has been around ownership, with IT and multiple business lines struggling to decide who should ultimately be in charge of the cloud migration.

With these cloud migrations and ‘anything as a service’ happening in areas ranging from HR to marketing tools, there’s a real risk that businesses will have multiple cloud platforms, all owned by different departments, with an organisational IT infrastructure that is as messy and disjointed as existing on-premises systems.

To overcome this issue, many businesses are developing a new role specifically focused on managing cloud transformation for the entire organisation. Of those IT leaders surveyed by Fuze, 92% say their organisation has either already assigned a formal “cloud champion” or plan to have one in place by the end of 2017.

It’s a positive step that shows commitment to the cloud as the go-to technology of the future. Yet simply assigning someone to “own” the migration won’t mean success. In fact, it may do more harm than good if the cloud ‘reins’ aren’t given to the right person.

>See also: The UK’s top 50 data leaders 2017

For many IT leaders, the cloud represents the move to innovation and transformation. The very nature of the cloud means new technologies can be adopted rapidly (both from a cost and a deployment basis). Yet, while a cloud champion can serve to accelerate adoption, focus is essential to ensure these innovations aren’t being introduced in isolation and without appropriate approval.

Today’s IT leaders have the vision and ambition to modernise not only the way IT operates, but the way it is perceived within the business world. They want to banish the view of IT as a cost-reduction function and unleash its potential across the organisation, positively impacting every business line and influencing business performance.

A true cloud champion needs to sit at the heart of an organisation, willing to work, co-operate and collaborate with every area and department of the business and with every end user – whether that’s the board, business managers, employees or new starters. This is why it is vital that CIO’s take a front-seat role when it comes to championing the cloud migration process.

>See also: Collaboration deployment in the modern business landscape

While recruiting an external “cloud champion” can help bring an outside perspective, these individuals will not necessarily be best placed to understand and bring together the needs of different departments across a business.

By stepping up and taking responsibility for the cloud migration process, CIO’s are best positioned to bring departments together from within – ensuring that an organisation’s cloud strategy is built from the ground up, rather than from the top down.


Sourced by Bradlee Allen, Product Marketing manager EMEA at Fuze

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...

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