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How to Convince Reluctant Admins to Embrace Cloud

The anti-cloud grew is still out there. Here are some helpful tips to show them how the cloud has evolved and why it might be right for your organization.

Most companies are moving toward a cloud-centric IT infrastructure for their apps and data. Yet, there remain plenty of admins that have yet to be convinced that the cloud is the future of IT.

In a few cases, administrator concern may be completely valid, and thus the decision to postpone cloud deployments is legitimate. But, more likely than not, the rationale behind cloud fears is completely unfounded. If you're in a situation where you have to go toe-to-toe with a cloud skeptic, we have some suggestions you can try to convince them that cloud computing isn't nearly as scary as naysayers make it out to be.

Years ago, when cloud computing was just beginning to gain momentum, early adopters had no model or case study with which to examine the merits of the cloud. But now that cloud computing is everywhere, it’s easy to find well-documented case studies for virtually any market vertical. A simple Google search is all it takes. The key to convincing your cloud skeptic is to present them with use-cases that closely match your own cloud computing goals. Doing so will let the administrator visualize what did and did not work in a similar cloud rollout, which should help to ease their minds about the transition.

Another great tactic to take is to point out that cloud computing eliminates many of the simplistic, repetitive, and generic tasks that go into managing an IT infrastructure these days. The internal IT department's role is changing with the evolution of cloud computing and other technologies. No longer should IT be thought of as simply maintaining the apps and data the company uses. Most of these responsibilities can now be outsourced to a service provider. Instead, the IT department should be designed to help the business create competitive advantage through the use of technology. The only way to accomplish this goal is to relinquish the repetitive infrastructure duties to free up IT administrator resources to work on business-impacting projects.

Image: Stokkete/Shutterstock
Image: Stokkete/Shutterstock

Another point that you can easily make is the fact that cloud computing better positions the entire organization in terms of a long-term, flexible strategy. Scalability is obviously unrivaled in the cloud computing world. So too is the ability to pivot from one technology to the next. When the company needs to shift their business focus away from the previous target and onto a brand new one, it’s easy to spin down applications and servers in the cloud and build new ones that better meet the company’s new goals. That kind of agility in a private data center is impossible to achieve without wasting a great deal of money.

Finally, perhaps the best way to change the mind of any cloud pessimist is to prove the cloud's worth through your own pilot project. By creating a proof of concept that addresses all concerns the skeptic may have regarding the migration to a cloud-centric infrastructure, you can eliminate any ammunition they may have that enables them to continue to drag their feet. Yet, it must be mentioned that the pilot project approach can backfire as well. If the project is poorly planned or implemented, it can end up with less than desirable results. If that happens, it will only further fuel the anti-cloud opinion of any administrator that doubts the legitimacy of cloud technologies in the enterprise.

Virtually every IT professional was at one time a skeptic of cloud computing. Yet, over time, service providers have addressed the clear majority of concerns that were held. But despite all the improvements that have been made, there are still some cloud computing holdouts, with mostly irrational fears. If you come across an admin dragging their feet on moving to the cloud, it's your duty to try to convince them otherwise. Hopefully the tips we provided today will help them to change their views on the cloud to move toward an overall architecture that will better meet the needs of today’s digital business world.

Andrew has well over a decade of enterprise networking under his belt through his consulting practice, which specializes in enterprise network architectures and datacenter build-outs and prior experience at organizations such as State Farm Insurance, United Airlines and the ... View Full Bio
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