Getting Your CEO to Say Yes to the Cloud

Getting Your CEO to Say Yes to the Cloud

Posted on March 09, 2022 0 Comments

Whether they know it or not, chances are your CEO spends a lot of their computing hours in the cloud. Checking stock quotes? Cloud. Managing direct reports via Teams or Slack? Cloud. Meeting with analysts over Web Ex? Cloud again. Even phone calls, if you have VoIP, go over the cloud.

So, why the hesitance to approve moving critical pieces of IT infrastructure and applications to that same cloud? Is it the cost? The presumed risk? Or something else entirely?

After all, just as the CEO’s personal computing use is skewed towards the cloud, their firm’s IT infrastructures and apps are increasingly the same. How many new SaaS apps does your shop have versus brand new on-premises solutions? Our guess is a lot versus precious few.

The struggle is not convincing the CEO to go cloud first, as new solutions tend to be SaaS already. However, the real sticking point is showing the value of migrating existing applications and their workloads to the cloud.

Let’s face it. Migrating existing solutions to the cloud is a momentous decision and the CEO buy-in is essential.

If you’ve spent any face time with CEOs, you know how their big brains tend to work, and how sharp, direct and even simple (in a good way) their questions are. If you are a pitching a cloud migration case, here are four questions you should expect:

  • Will a cloud migration save money, or cost more than the solution being replaced?
  • What is the comparative short, medium and long-term economic value of cloud compared to existing and fully operational on-premises solutions?
  • In short, why should we rock the on-premises boat and retool existing tools when we could focus on a new, cloud-based solution that offers competitive advantages?
  • Can you avoid data loss during a cloud data migration?

Those four quick queries go to the heart of the matter. If you can’t convincingly answer all four, don’t schedule the pitch until you can.

The Logic Behind Cloud Migration

If you are hit with those four questions, your answers should be simple as in affirmative, but the actual rationale is far more involved. In fact, it should be based on a rich, detailed and comprehensive cost analysis. This analysis is the proposed migrations game plan. It will not be just estimates but real projections for running workloads in the cloud compared to existing and forecasted costs of keeping them in-house.

While there is no doubt tons of data and research will be backing up these projections, CEOs, other C-level executives and you ultimately want to offer a macro view of high-level, supportable and trustworthy economic savings and TCO numbers.

Laying Out the Big Cloud Migration Picture

As detailed-oriented as many are, several other CEOs care more about the big picture. With that in mind, your migration case’s starting point and its center should be around the core economic drivers. Once you have their attention, stay at a high level, and lay out the economic issues that support moving existing IT infrastructure and operations to the cloud.

The picture you are painting is a vision of a bright cloud future and all the new opportunities this world offers. As Accenture argued, “Cloud has proven its centrality to resilient, sustainable enterprise operations and future competitive advantage. If you’re not substantially on the cloud, you can’t hope to unlock the capabilities a modern business requires—greater flexibility, more agility and new opportunities for innovation to help you disrupt your industry. Enterprises that continue to delay a shift to cloud at scale aren’t just incurring an opportunity cost, they’re risking their very survival,” the consulting firm said.

With your help, the CEO will envision the company taking advantage of the cloud’s benefits, including technological modernization. With the cloud, you can utilize modern, innovative applications that revolutionize fundamental IT economics and offer new money-making opportunities by harnessing customer-facing cloud applications.

Getting CEO Sign Off on Migration Priorities and Timing

Cloud migration can be a big budget item, and detail-oriented CEOs often want to approve projects with those sorts of dollar figures. Before expecting a sign off on large migrations, show the CEO and executive staff you are already taking great care of the IT budget.

That means showing by example you understand and can be trusted with the cloud. “Operating your IT estate is fundamentally different in the cloud. The traditional model of managing capacity by purchasing and running physical hardware doesn’t work. Instead, you must continuously manage consumption, capacity, performance and crucially—cost. It requires a very different skillset as well as new operational functions,” Accenture believes.

The type of change Accenture says the cloud represents for IT management means you should not rush. These migrations should not be a fire drill, but carefully planned, executed and only done when the economic analysis offers clear justification.

Cloud migrations are not always a slam dunk. “Most enterprises have, on average, only about 20-40 percent of their workloads in the cloud, most of which are the easier, less complex ones. And nearly two-thirds have said they haven’t achieved the results expected of their cloud initiatives to date,” Accenture wrote. “Unless you migrate the majority of your workloads to the cloud, you will not be able to realize the full business value, including making your business more efficient, resilient, and customer focused.”

Fix Existing Cloud Cost Problems Before Incurring New Ones

You have a snowball’s chance of getting large scale cloud migrations approved if existing cloud costs are out of whack. Often applications or services appear inexpensive when first adopted, but costs grow out of control as workloads expand. In these cases, the CEO may conclude the cloud is just too fundamentally expensive.

More likely, it is not the cloud’s fault, but instead services are improperly set up, mismanaged and unoptimized. Through proper deployment and resource allocation, IT can manage workloads, while entirely avoiding workload and virtual machine sprawl. With pay as you go, the cloud can easily waste more money than its on-premises counterparts.

A Balanced Approach to Cloud Migration

There is no doubt that the cloud CAN lead to more efficient and economical computing. Plus, it drives towards unrivaled innovation including cloud-only digital solutions that enable new business models and dynamic sources of revenue. But, in order to get there, you MUST tread carefully. If you migrate too fast without a clear plan based on economic and technological analysis, the cloud costs MORE. At the same time, not embracing the cloud means you are missing out, and those OPPURTUNITY COSTS can be MASSIVE.

Why Managed File Transfer in the Cloud Makes So Much Sense

With cloud-based Managed File Transfer (MFT), IT can consolidate and streamline all file transfer activities onto one platform to ensure better management control over core business processes. Here are four benefits of cloud-based MFT:

Ensure Regulatory Compliance

A Cloud Managed File Transfer solution can scale to meet the diverse data transfers your business undertakes while ensuring compliance with data privacy laws such as GDPR, HIPAA and PCI.

Drive Business Growth

With Cloud MFT, you typically have faster access to newly released features and capabilities, enabling you to launch new or improved services for your end customers.

Meet SLAs and Reduce Costs

With a Cloud MFT solution, you can consolidate disparate file transfer processes under a single platform with end-to-end visibility, reporting and audit trails.

You can reduce file transfer IT operating costs by 15% to 40% with Cloud MFT. IT personnel and infrastructure can be a significant business cost. Procuring, installing, configuring and managing/maintaining basic computing infrastructure such as servers, storage devices, databases and security applications is expensive to do in-house and consumes valuable and scarce IT resources time. With managed file transfer cloud you eliminate costs for setting up in-house infrastructure and free up capacity in your IT team to work on higher-value business projects.

In addition, with Cloud MFT you only pay for what you need, and you can scale up your service usage as needed when your business expands.

Learn more on the MOVEit cloud-based Managed File Transfer page.

Doug Barney

Doug Barney was the founding editor of Redmond Magazine, Redmond Channel Partner, Redmond Developer News and Virtualization Review. Doug also served as Executive Editor of Network World, Editor in Chief of AmigaWorld, and Editor in Chief of Network Computing.


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