Sell The Cloud to Your Team

My previous post in this series discussed the first step in your cloud adoption plan, selling it to your leadership. It’s likely that you were able to sell the benefits of cloud computing to at least some, if not all, of your management. Once you get support from the top, your next move is to get buy-in from your team. It is important to remember that adopting the cloud is in effect a cultural change. Most cultural changes take time and patience. Luckily, with support from the top already in hand and the right preparation, it won’t be hard to convince your team that adopting the cloud is the right move. 

Moving services to the cloud is a must-go-through phase toward the digital transformation. Learn the main benefits and challenges of cloud projects on our video blog Why Move to the Cloud?

Start at the End

The best way to start your pitch is to clearly and concisely state the end goal. Everyone needs to understand where they are going so that they know how to get there. Since the cloud has already been accepted by your executive team, use that to your advantage. State the facts that management is on board, that this is a big change, and that it will take time. It is important to be honest and open with the challenge that is in front of you but don’t lose sight of the end.

Take Your Cloud Adoption Strategy One Step at a Time

Once you have articulated the end goal, map out the path you will take to reach it. It’s a well-documented technique that breaking down seemingly impossible tasks in manageable chunks makes success far more likely. Before you meet with your team, create a high-level block diagram for the tasks you’d like to accomplish and a rough timeline for the execution of each one. As an example, you could have a block for “AI Analysis of First Quarter Sales” with an implementation time of six months from now. 

Be careful not to be too aggressive with your dates, nor too specific with all of your tasks. It is best to keep the overall timeline short as well – no more than one to two years initially. Be clear that this is not a definite plan, just a framework that gives an idea of the steps needed for full implementation. 

Team Discussion

Now that you have laid out your vision, give your team a chance to digest and discuss it. Let them be open and honest with their feelings. Transferring over to the cloud presents plenty of technical challenges and you don’t want disenfranchised help from the start. While it almost goes without stating, your team members want to be heard. No one likes to feel like a change is being forced upon them. Giving the team a chance to talk through it and listening to them without becoming defensive is key to winning support. The last thing you want is for them to feel like this is another management initiative that won’t last.

Change Management Team

The previous two steps lead to the final, and most important step of your sales pitch – forming your change management team (CMT). Forming this team will give your employees ownership, responsibility, and the ability to have direct control over the execution of the adoption plan. To be most effective, the CMT needs to be small, but representative of multiple viewpoints. Your job will now be to provide guidance, focus, and conflict resolution. This is also the perfect time to seek outside expertise to help formulate the path forward, but remember that the CMT needs to own the plan and the execution. Otherwise, their support will be at risk.  

It is also important that the CMT meet regularly with management. Clear and consistent communication across the business hierarchy is necessary for success. Keeping cloud adoption at the forefront of your business initiatives will lead to triumph. Once you have the first cloud-based functions in place and the benefit is clear, the remainder of the adoption plan will almost take care of itself.

Moving services to the cloud is a must-go-through phase toward the digital transformation. Learn the main benefits and challenges of cloud projects on our video blog Why Move to the Cloud?

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