IT departments at high-performance computing enterprises are too often seen as cost centers. Many forward-thinking CIOs struggle to implement large-scale innovative technologies without sufficient C-suite buy-in, which can often be difficult to secure given the expenses of sophisticated advanced scale technologies. Though many executives understand that their technological foundation correlates with profitability, they often see new IT initiatives as costly ventures that don’t necessarily guarantee positive results.
Due to the vast amount of data involved in organizations using HPC-class technology, hyperscale computing and cloud storage technology become a necessity.
However, the more sophisticated the organization’s computing, the more difficult it becomes for CIOs to convince business leaders to transition operations onto new cloud technologies.
To do so, CIOs may have to dismiss cloud myths that may make the rest of the C-suite hesitant to transition. Here are three common misconceptions about cloud technology and how IT professionals can address them:
Myth 1: Moving data onto the cloud is less secure than on-premise systems
Across the enterprise, C-suite executives and employees alike are often hesitant to migrate away from on-premise solutions for fear that their data will be lost “somewhere on the internet.” CIOs can address these security concerns before they arise by educating business leaders of the technology behind cloud storage that ensures security. Data security has come a long way in the past few years, going from using physical safeguards to digitally protecting information. In this way, cloud-based data is usually even more secure than it was on traditional storage methods. Layers of encryption and geodistributed storage models help keep cloud data out of the wrong hands while meeting regulatory compliance requirements.
Myth 2: Transitioning to the cloud will slow down existing operations
When C-suite executives are busy meeting day-to-day demands, adopting cloud technology may be the last of their concerns. It’s tempting for business leaders to keep current storage models as they are when there aren’t obvious problems arising. However, it is the CIO’s responsibility to proactively suggest cloud offerings even though the preexisting on-premise storage system isn’t necessarily broken. Many executives also see adoptability as the main concern and believe that switching storage software will put enterprise operations at a standstill. In actuality, today’s cloud technology options are increasingly intuitive to deploy and don’t require significant transition time. In the long run, the sunk costs of taking the time to deploy and educate employees on new systems will be validated by substantial ROI.
Myth 3: Cloud systems won’t benefit the entire organization
When convincing C-suite leaders to sign on to innovative cloud technology, it’s helpful to communicate the cloud’s benefits in a way that will resonate with their main organizational concerns. For instance, a CFO will likely be focused on cutting costs and increasing ROI, so CIOs can emphasize the value-generating benefits of cloud technology, such as lower fixed costs and faster speed to market. Similarly, leaders in the legal and regulatory department may be concerned about meeting industry requirements for data protection, so CIOs can communicate which enterprise cloud systems fulfill governance, risk management, and compliance (GRC) requirements and meet compliance standards.
If IT leaders can understand and address specific issues in various departments across the enterprise, they can demonstrate a holistic understanding of individual needs that can help them gain C-suite credibility. When they have gained trust across the organization, CIOs have more freedom to seek out and deploy innovative technology initiatives and eventually redefine themselves from fix-it centers to innovation enablers.