Be a Cloud Executive Officer
Chief executive officers of the 2010s ignore the cloud at their peril. As we at CloudTweaks know better than most, cloud computing has become an indelible centerpiece of the national conversation on all things technology. Few developments since the arrival of the Internet have ignited such discourse or stood to offer so much change to our relationship with computers. A refusal to acknowledge cloud, then, is essentially an admission of irrelevance in virtually every industry that involves either computer-borne data, the Internet, or a combination thereof.
Employees in such industries, now more self-sufficient and enterprising than ever, probably nurse secret (or not-so-secret) fixations on the cloud, be it positive – “The cloud’s the best thing since the advent of the Web” – or negative – “Cloud equals disaster for data security and protection, et cetera.”
No matter an employee’s perspective on cloud, a CEO’s resistance to it is unequivocally futile. Big corporate businesses already outmuscle more diminutive operations with comparatively massive technological resources, both virtual and human. Smart companies the same size as one’s own have probably already embraced cloud to some degree. And the cloud can convert a petite young upstart into a serious pretender to a larger company’s throne in one fell swoop. Cloud can equalize as easily as it can sift the savvy from the slackers.
Successful — savvy — CEOs marry their chiefdom with at least a modicum of dexterity within the cloud. After having exercised some reconnaissance work, which should involve pinpointing their business’ current shortcomings and analyzing potential ROI figures, they ascertain how the cloud can allow their company to streamline and economize. They conduct a cloud cost benefit analysis: a determination of the set-up and entry costs for cloud, an assessment of the applications most apt for a cloud computing retrofit, and a mining of the current resources and limitations of their business (the scope of the budget, identifying standout knowledgeable employees, etc.)
The choice to proactively mount their own data security and protection schemes elevates great Cloud Executive Officers from wimpy or uninspired dabblers. These CEOs thoroughly vet each type of cloud (from Gmail and other types of SaaS to IaaS providers like Amazon EC2). They plot each move before taking a step forward, refusing to fall for just any software offered as-a-service. What is more, they harness governmental resources to support their backup aims, including FedRAMP, FISMA, and SSAE 16.
Legendary cloud CEOs, upon executing several of the above directives, stay the course. Attempts to dissuade them from cloud’s capacities are rebuffed by the deep belief they have already been developing. Instead, they motivate and convince their employees, peers, stockholders, all involved, about the potential of cloud computing in spite of its risks. Each grand gesture – unveiling a new setup and overhaul scheme, for example — is backed up by deliberation and tact. And naturally, they nourish their knowledge with rich sources (like CloudTweaks, of course) to stay cloud-sharp and successful.
By Jeff Norman