It’s one of those statistics that astonished those of us who have been writing about cloud-based enterprise solutions for years. Cloud-based technology currently makes up 38 percent of enterprise IT systems today, according to a study by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) on behalf of Google (News - Alert). While this figure is predicted to grow to 45 percent by 2019, the study reflected a troubling lack of trust in cloud-based solutions. In fact, only 16 percent of survey respondents indicated very high trust in the cloud.
These companies know what the cloud can do for them: bring down costs, increase the feature set, deploy solutions across geographical locations and mobile devices and scale up and down according to need. The cloud’s biggest perceived drawback, however, is a lack of control over IT processes, and a lack of security of private company data.
In a recent blog post, Aspect’s (News - Alert) Sarah Quennell wrote that skepticism about the cloud is having a very real impact on business’ results. Simply put, their distrust means they’re not getting as much from their cloud solutions as they could be.
“The EIU’s survey found that respondents who say their organization has higher trust in the cloud also report much better outcomes than their peers who indicate lower trust, and this is true for both non-financial and financial success metrics,” she wrote. “For instance, companies with very high levels of trust in the cloud reported an average increase in profits of 9.1 per cent since adopting the technology, compared with just one per cent for those in the low-trust group.”
The unknown breeds fear and fear breeds hostility: we know this from the broader human experience. Fear of the cloud can be directly linked to a lack of understanding about what the cloud can offer. Proponents of cloud technology in enterprises need to build a successful game plan for overcoming resistance and suspicion, according to the EIU’s report. Some recommended steps include:
Leadership from the very top. The survey revealed that organizations that have a high level of buy-in and support from the C-suite report higher levels of trust than those that do not have this engagement.
Plan to build trust from the start. From the very earliest stages of a cloud rollout, businesses need to be working to foster trust – for example, by starting with quick wins that lead to tangible improvements.
Pre-rollout education. The best time to begin helping executives and employees understand the benefits of the cloud is before the deployment. While training people to use the new tools is fairly straightforward, the key to gaining trust will be to push employees to do more and get them thinking about the solutions in a more creative way.
Another important step is to choose a cloud solutions provider that is already trusted by your organization. This step will remove some of the “unknown” from the cloud deployment and help build confidence. A good enterprise solutions partner – whether reseller or vendor – will have long experience in helping educate workforces about the benefits AND the significant security protections cloud solutions offer today.