5 Ways CIOs Can Tackle Cloud Fears

5 Ways CIOs Can Tackle Cloud Fears

5 Ways CIOs Can Tackle Cloud Fears 

CIOs are tired of hearing about cloud computing concerns. They’ve spent years reading about how cloud resources are subject to risks, and wonder – what can they do to help people trust the cloud?  The truth is that despite being a hot issue for years, the topic of cloud security is more important than ever before as growing corporate dependency on web and mobile services coincide with national privacy concerns – most recently with the NSA scandal. The good news is that the hybrid cloud environment, which integrates on-premise and cloud-based solutions, allows companies to embrace the cloud without disruption.

According to Wakefield Research, CIOs are adopting the hybrid cloud approach to achieve significant benefits for their business. Although the majority of respondents believe a hybrid approach simplifies IT processes, 75 percent of CIOs still report institutional barriers that need to be overcome in order for the integration of cloud and on-premise solutions to gain wider acceptance. How can CIOs tackle these institutional barriers and conquer cloud fears in their workforce?

As a CIO with more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry, and after holding many IT-related positions, I’ve realized that most people want to be cautious before investing in new technology. Through the years, I’ve helped companies understand that technology leveraged the right way is the key to business velocity, and have discovered the following top five ways for CIOs to tackle cloud fears in their workforce:

1) Bridge the Gap between IT and the Business

According to the Harvard Business Review’s two-year study, CEOs believe that CIOs are not in synch with the new issues CEOs are facing and do not understand where the business needs to go. Additionally, over 60% of IT purchases are now being made by the line-of-business, not IT. If CIOs believe the company needs to innovate by integrating cloud with their core systems, and CEOs aren’t aligned with this vision, you can see how this is a recipe for miscommunication and wasted resources.

2) Give Them Their Cloud, Their Way

With a hybrid approach, your workforce doesn’t have to rush all applications to the cloud right away. Few companies want (and can afford) a rip and replace approach. CIOs should explain to their workforce that a hybrid landscape supports fast adaptation while stabilizing areas where the current on-premise approach still makes sense. Therefore, companies can create new value and save costs while also reducing disruption.

3) Spell out Security from the Start

Cloud security policy and technology have dramatically advanced. The use of encrypted data bases and tokenized access to information has given CIOs and managers in LoB confidence in cloud security. However, gaining the confidence of your workforce means following through on a proven security plan. CIOs need explain how the cloud vendor they are using protects customers against unauthorized data access and misuse, as well as confidential data disclosure, using various measures for employees, applications, organization, systems, and networks.

4) Be Transparent

No matter how much CIOs plan, unanticipated technical issues can come up during integration projects. It’s important to vet the cloud vendor, but also important to set expectations with your workforce. To be honest, transparency is really a bigger issue than security. CIOs and IT departments not only have to ensure that cloud deployments comply with external and internal regulations, but they need to be able to prove that compliance to auditors and regulators.

5) Highlight the Benefits

CIOs shouldn’t just deliver the technology. They need to show how integrating on-premise and cloud-based applications can transform a business and deliver tremendous value – such as efficiency and flexibility. Additionally, pre-packaged integrations help businesses adopt and consume innovation faster than ever before in an IT environment that involves both on-premise and cloud-based applications. A hybrid cloud environment ultimately offers flexibility, choice, and control for companies that need to manage change and capitalize on emerging trends.

I believe that the cloud serves a strategic purpose in helping organizations accelerate innovation, and when done correctly, the hybrid cloud approach answers the need for flexibility. But, like a winning doubles tennis team, hybrid cloud computing requires skill, strategy, and most of all – constant communication. When hybrid cloud computing is out of an organization’s comfort zone, it’s up to CIOs to help their workforce stay focused on the big picture – the profound flexibility that integration will give to companies who want an edge in our customer-driven world.

By Robert Grazioli, CIO of SAP Cloud

Robert Grazioli is the CIO for SuccessFactors, an SAP Company. Bob is currently responsible for corporate technologies and SuccessFactors Cloud Operations. Bob joined SuccessFactors through the acquisition of Plateau Systems, a leading provider of cloud learning systems, where he also served as CIO.

About CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading authorities in connected technology information and services.

We embrace and instill thought leadership insights, relevant and timely news related stories, unbiased benchmark reporting as well as offer green/cleantech learning and consultive services around the world.

Our vision is to create awareness and to help find innovative ways to connect our planet in a positive eco-friendly manner.

In the meantime, you may connect with CloudTweaks by following and sharing our resources.

View All Articles

2 Responses to 5 Ways CIOs Can Tackle Cloud Fears

  1. My clients are all Australian, and a number of them have become extremely hesitant to use cloud services since the NSA scandal blew up. Some were nervous before too, because of the implications of hosting data of their clients and customers (some of which is extremely sensitive) on a service which stores all its data in the US. Now, even though Amazon have opened a data center in Sydney, the fact that they are a US company, legally bound to give any data requested to the US government, still makes them and to be honest me, nervous.
    Even with the ways to tackle these fears you’ve presented here, which are great by the way, I’m not sure how to present the argument that their data will be safe from the TLA’s of foreign governments.
    I’m quite excited about the cloud and the benefits it offers my clients, but I need to be able to present a secure solution. Do you have any suggestions on how to calm these fears?

  2. Spot on Rob, and at the end cloud is a business enabler… http://scn.sap.com/community/cloud/blog/2013/07/11/is-cloud-about-technology-no-it-is-about-business-technology-is-simply-an-enabler

On Demand With The Gig Economy

On Demand With The Gig Economy

The Gig Economy By now, you’ve probably heard the phrase Gig Economy or seen services offered as “on-demand”. If you’re like 90 million Americans, then you’ve participated in this freelance workforce revolution as either a client or provider. The rise of apps connecting professional services, goods, and lodging directly to consumers via their smartphone is…

5 Cloud-Based Customer Service Trends

5 Cloud-Based Customer Service Trends

Customer Service Trends Customer service has become the new battleground in today’s marketplace. In fact, 97 percent of customers around the world now say that customer service makes a key difference in whether they decide to go with a brand or not, Microsoft reports. Many of the biggest changes in today’s customer service landscape center…

Conquering Disease with Artificial Intelligence and IBM Watson

Conquering Disease with Artificial Intelligence and IBM Watson

Artificial Intelligence and IBM Watson Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is growing increasingly pervasive in today’s modern world. Perhaps the most publicized and recognizable application of AI to date, IBM’s Jeopardy-winning computer, Watson, is now being used to help cure cancer. IBM announced the development of Watson for Genomics on Wednesday at the National Cancer Moonshot…

The Fundamentals of Predictive Analysis

The Fundamentals of Predictive Analysis

Predictive Analysis  Article sponsored by SAS Software and Big Data Forum Analytics is playing an increasingly important role in our lives thanks in large part to internet of things (IoT) developments and a greater appreciation of Big Data. With solutions that range across business productivity, health care, individual and national security, new insights are regularly…

Clouding Around With The Unicorns

Clouding Around With The Unicorns

The Social Unicorn Early investors and technology consumers alike love the poignantly named “Unicorn” companies, or private startups that reach the $1 billion valuation. The most recent unicorn spotting is social media game-changer Snapchat, which was recently valued at $16 billion. According to a recent infographic from Alexa discovered via Adweek, Snapchat also proves to…

The Questions of Privacy In The Internet of Things Revolution

The Questions of Privacy In The Internet of Things Revolution

Privacy in the Internet of Things Revolution The Internet of Things (IoT) has been promising a lot to consumers for a few years and now we’re really starting to see some of the big ideas come to fruition, which means an ever-growing conversation around data security and privacy. Big data comes with big responsibilities and…

10 Trending US Cities For Tech Jobs And Startups

10 Trending US Cities For Tech Jobs And Startups

10 Trending US Cities For Tech Jobs And Startups Traditionally actors headed for Hollywood while techies made a beeline for Silicon Valley. But times are changing, and with technological job opportunities expanding (Infographic), new hotspots are emerging that offer fantastic opportunities for tech jobs and startup companies in the industry. ZipRecruiter, an online recruitment and job…

Cloud Computing Offers Key Benefits For Small, Medium Businesses

Cloud Computing Offers Key Benefits For Small, Medium Businesses

Cloud Computing Benefits A growing number of small and medium businesses in the United States rely on as a means of deploying mission-critical software products. Prior to the advent of cloud-based products — software solutions delivered over the Internet – companies were often forced to invest in servers and other products to run software and…

What Top SaaS Vendors Do To Ensure Successful Onboarding

What Top SaaS Vendors Do To Ensure Successful Onboarding

What Top SaaS Vendors Do I am not going to mention names in this article, but if you want to be the best, you must look at what the best do – and do it better. The importance of investing in SaaS onboarding can be easily overlooked in favor of designing efficient and powerful software…

Surprising Facts and Stats About The Big Data Industry

Surprising Facts and Stats About The Big Data Industry

Facts and Stats About The Big Data Industry If you start talking about big data to someone who is not in the industry, they immediately conjure up images of giant warehouses full of servers, staff poring over page after page of numbers and statistics, and some big brother-esque official sat in a huge government building…

Low Cost Cloud Computing Gives Rise To Startups

Low Cost Cloud Computing Gives Rise To Startups

Balancing The Playing Field For Startups According to a Goldman Sachs report, cloud infrastructure and platform spending could reach $43 billion by 2018, which is up $16 billion from last year, representing a growth of around 30% from 2013 said the analyst. This phenomenal growth is laying the foundation for a new breed of startup…

The Monstrous IoT Connected Cloud Market

The Monstrous IoT Connected Cloud Market

What’s Missing in the IoT? While the Internet of Things has become a popular concept among tech crowds, the consumer IoT remains fragmented. Top companies continue to battle to decide who will be the epicenter of the smart home of the future, creating separate ecosystems (like the iOS and Android smartphone market) in their wake.…