By Kallol Basu, Senior OCM Consultant, Enterprise Application Services, TCS
Cloud transformation is all around us. It’s not a singular new application, system, process, or behavior. It’s not even just a more efficient workflow with streamlined user access to systems and data. Instead, it’s a combination of all of these elements.
Despite the abundance of benefits that come with cloud computing, organizations can only realize transformative change if all employees adapt to the cloud environment—which almost always requires new skills. Therefore, change management is an essential element to the success of cloud implementations.
Cloud computing has dramatically changed the traditional functions of an IT team—from the business model to service delivery, as well as functional processes and expectations. Ignoring the “people impact” can put your cloud project on the path to failure.
And since a successful project is what every organization wants, we recommend some key strategies to help you avoid a cloud disaster.
Gone are the days when leaders outsourced change management to HR consultants instead of taking accountability themselves. A cloud transformation initiative should be assigned to a dedicated C-suite executive who is empowered to connect stakeholders, break down organizational silos, and promote an innovative digital-first culture. This requires savvy relationship skills where the leader can corral people to collaborate and build trust.
You may consider using shared workspaces to create a constructive, dynamic environment where all stakeholders can collaborate. This helps give everyone a stake in the outcome, ensuring they are committed and on the same page. You might also invite top performers to meet face-to-face with business partners to understand the rationale and goals of the cloud solution—much like a product manager conducts market research to validate a new product. This helps to facilitate buy-in and support.
The bottom line: unless an executive leader is accountable for the “people impact” of the cloud initiative, transformation goals won’t be realized.
Iterative development processes, like agile and design thinking, have replaced old-school implementation methods. More than ever before, the user experience drives technology design. With such a dramatic shift, change management has to evolve, too. We call this “organizational change management 2.0,” or OCM 2.0, and we focus on employees, collaboration, and creativity as the core components of the new cloud solution.
Here are seven strategies to help you tailor your change management approach to enhance user adoption:
Since any cloud initiative will almost certainly impact the IT organization, here are a few key strategies to manage the “people impact” in an IT organization:
Without a doubt, a cloud implementation will impact people, processes, and policies—regardless of industry or sector. Pay attention to the “people impact” as you manage the transformational changes that come with cloud computing and your project can be a success.
Dr Kallol Basu is a senior consultant with TCS’ Oracle practice specializing in organization change management (OCM). Across over 11 years in the industry, Kallol has worked on large business transformation initiatives, lending his expertise in the areas of program management, change management, and business process reengineering. A PhD in business transformation, Kallol has played an instrumental role in eight multi-year, multi-country customer programs and is a published author and regular speaker at global forums.