CIOs need to help CEOs overcome their reservations and find the right cloud technology partner for a serious, long-term relationship
Studies suggest that our top ten fears as human beings include flying, speaking in public, spiders, snakes, water and heights. All of these in their own way can give many of us “normal” beings slightly irrational shaking hands and dry mouths.
Chief executives are no different. They have their very own special top ten and very high on the list (along with EPS growth slowing and the global credit crunch) is losing control of technology in their business. An exchange between a CEO and a CIO might go something like this:
CIO: “I have put together a really safe plan that saves us lots of money, makes our service and change agenda really flexible and strong, strengthens security and takes us into the new generation of go-ahead organisations. We are going to be using the cloud.”
CEO: “So, in English, you are putting all of my key technical stuff up in the ether with everyone else’s? I think not. Let the next chief executive make that call.”
In that short, typical conversation, we can see where most cloud technology moves come unstuck. The challenge for those seeking to use technology to improve their business remains the same the world over. We need to translate this scary world of “spiders and snakes” into a place where the boss can: really understand what you are doing and pass on this explanation to one of his/her friends at a dinner party, and form a long-lasting relationship with the most valuable piece of the jigsaw – the right partner.
Nothing will bring that satisfied and relaxed look to the CEO’s face faster than meeting their perfect partner. This will be an organisation that can walk them through the cultural change journey and really get under the skin of their irrational concerns.
Among the plethora of sites offering internet dating, the most successful ones promise to find the long-term person who is a genuine match. Aiming for short-term revenue gain from each participant would be a strange business model.
In reality, just like finding the right cloud technology partner, the real skill in the model is the reputational gain each perfect couple achieves and the 100 friends they tell.
CIOs may already know that their ideas are sound, financially beneficial and secure, but no amount of rational tech- speak will convince the boss.
We have already gone through this at Mitchells & Butlers. In fact we are currently transforming our IT infrastructure with Fujitsu, through the roll-out of a private cloud and management network. Step one was getting everyone on board.
Focus on the “spiders” and “matchmaking” and your cloud dreams will become business reality in the next change cycle, rather than a vague aspiration to be considered at some later date.