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Human resource dangers in the shift to the cloud

None | Feb. 25, 2011

What concerns do IT staff now have with the continuing talk of cloud computing revolutionising the IT industry?

Frankly, job security is one of the key concerns. As cloud computing transforms the IT structure of the business, many IT staff do worry about the loss of their jobs due to changes in roles within the team. With expected movements and the possibility of being part of existing staff being outsourced to the cloud provider, others will worry about whether they are well equipped, trained, and are able to cope with new and more strategic roles.

CIOs and IT managers know that they must address concerns like security, compliance, service levels and end-user resistance when moving to cloud-based enterprise software, but they must not overlook a critical area: the feelings of their IT staffers. When companies decide to unplug on-premise servers, ditch the applications housed on them and adopt vendor-hosted software in the cloud, the IT staffers in charge of supporting and maintaining those discarded in-house systems are bound to get nervous.

One of the most pertinent issues that could result in high staff turnover during a cloud implementation is the lack of communication between stakeholders. To address this, companies should consider working with an experienced cloud services provider who can meet their specific ICT needs and improve employee buy-in.

Our prior experience in facilitating employee transitions with large MNCs like Shell and Philips has proven that employee integration programs are key to a successful transition.

As no company is alike, we also believe in crafting unique integration programs to ensure that IT projects are run smoothly during the transitive period. In major cloud projects where the people are taken over, T-Systems also integrates new employees with mentor programs, town hall and group meetings, face-to-face talks on contractual issues, and even workshops on travel reservations, health insurance and management of day-to-day tasks.

What risks are there if IT departments develop resistance to change towards cloud computing? How can cloud IT initiatives can be impeded without the proper support from human IT resources?

Two key risks arise should employees within IT departments of an organization develop a resistance to change during the implementation of cloud computing that could impede the overall transition to the cloud.

The first is that the go-live date could be affected and that business continuity could be disrupted as it is key for all parties involved to work in close collaboration with the cloud provider in all stages of deployment - from current mode of operation to transition and finally the future mode of operation.


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