Ericsson ConsumerLab interviewed both IT decision-makers and business users about the benefits and challenges of working in the cloud, from security to training. From the business user point of view, it becomes clear that just deploying a new cloud solution is not enough.
What keeps CIOs up at night? Are they worrying about how they are going to acquire and implement the right technology in order to deal with the Internet of Things, 5G, and the smartphone data explosion? To a certain extent, they are, but technology challenges are actually not the biggest barrier to CIOs meeting their objectives.
IT skills, training, and digital transitions
For a new study called Work in the Cloud, Ericsson ConsumerLab interviewed both IT decision-makers and business users about the benefits and challenges of working in the cloud. And although security concerns loomed largest for the IT decision-makers in the study, the study clearly showed that both groups agree that other important challenges include having the right IT skills, getting everyone on board with the transition, and the need for end-user training, as shown in the graphic below.
Considerations for success
Fear of change
But what about the people using the cloud for their day-to-day work? If we change direction and look at cloud transformation from the business user point of view, it becomes clear that just deploying a new cloud solution is not enough. Users need to be shown the possibilities the cloud can bring, and they need to receive effective training to help ensure that new solutions will be used to their full potential. Inertia and fear of change are common when faced with any new and unknown solutions—it is not unusual for end users to initially protest and refuse to learn a new system.
What can a company do when faced with this kind of apprehension? The Ericsson ConsumerLab study has some suggestions. For example, companies can put in place compulsory training that demonstrates the benefits of the new solution and familiarizes users. They can also appoint solutions champions in various departments to help encourage uptake and assist with the transition.
Organizational issues—a top CIO concern
We believe the points raised in the ConsumerLab study were reinforced in a recent Gartner report titled Building the Digital Platform: The 2016 CIO Agenda. In the report, technology issues were number five on most CIOs’ lists.
The number-one concern, by a wide margin, was having the right skills and the right talent in place or available. Facing the move to digitalization, the emergence of talent acquisition as a top barrier to success should be a wake-up call for CIOs.
Number two on the CIO lists was the ever-present budget constraints. However, numbers three and four were worries about having the right culture or organizational structure and IT-business alignment. We feel this echoes the findings of the Ericsson ConsumerLab study.
Moving beyond the top five, we find even more issues related to management and culture, such as organizational willingness to change and management understanding.
For a more detailed view of what IT decision-makers and business users think about the cloud, download our new brochure called Working in the Cloud.
Gartner, Building the Digital Platform: The 2016 CIO Agenda, Dave Aron, Graham P. Waller, Lee Weldon, 02 October 2015