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3 Practical Steps to Surviving the Cloud Storm

TerenceNgai

Storm.jpgThe days of putting in a service request and waiting three weeks to get what you want are over. For the business to keep its competitive edge, IT has to deliver resources to employees and customers in a matter of days if not hours. Take HP: to interact more nimbly with customers and release products and services faster, we’ve transformed the company, for ourselves and our customers. “Today, IT is poised to shake up even more industries,” says HP CEO Meg Whitman. “And what’s emerging out there is what I call a new style of IT.” As I wrote in my last blog “Change or Die!”, either you lead the change, or you will be left behind.

 

Cloud plays a key role in helping the business achieve faster time to market and increased customer engagement, expediting the delivery of IT services, applications, and real-time information to employees, customers, and partners. But change is not just a matter of technology. You also have to consider IT roles, skill sets, and processes, from the CIO to database administrators. The organizational construct of IT has to change as well. How do you handle this change in a way that allows you to not only survive the disruption but keep IT productive and remain the core enabler of business growth?

 

Here are three practical steps you can take to transform IT with a minimum of disruption:

 

  • Provide IT staff with realistic goals, concrete action plans, proper training, and performance metrics
  • Start with small projects
  • Celebrate successes

 

“What does it mean for me?”

As the leader of IT, the CIO outlines a vision of the future, providing a high-level overview of how IT can align with the business and help the company succeed in the marketplace. But for individual IT staff to internalize the message and become convinced the new approach trumps older IT practices, you need to translate that vision into specific terms linked to day-to-day tasks and performance metrics. This approach can help overcome much of the fear and resistance that often accompany change.

 

For some IT staffers, the changes may mean that they can perform tasks faster, with fewer errors, because they’ve automated manual operations. This also means they can satisfy their internal and external customers’ needs more efficiently, reducing the odds those internal customers will turn to shadow IT.

 

The changes could also free up more resources for IT staff to innovate, because automation enables them to drastically reduce the amount of time they need to spend on routine maintenance. IT no longer needs to own all the different layers of storage, networking, and application troubleshooting; a capable, well-vetted third-party service provider can handle those responsibilities.

 

 

To lead and manage change smoothly, start small

 

To build high-performing IT teams, managers need to create an environment in which team members collaborate on a common goal. When you drive change, you don’t want to take on a huge project when team members are still trying to figure out how the new processes work.

 

Instead, you should pick a small project with specific, concrete goals that you can tackle in 60 or 90 days. It could be as simple as automating one application, or creating a dev test environment for a particular business unit that is creating new services. This helps teams build confidence and sets the stage for taking on bigger projects in the future.

                                                 

To get projects off on the right foot, you should:

 

  • Experiment with new toolsets and new technologies such as cloud. Decide which processes you wish to automate, and establish metrics to measure how fast you can provision new services.
  • Put people in new roles, and expect them to perform in those roles. This could involve IT teaming up with a business analyst to document requirements and put together a project plan.
  • Review performance on a regular basis. Set the team up for success by reviewing progress biweekly, providing encouragement and coaching where needed.

 

Spread the word about successes

 

No matter how small your initial project, when it succeeds, you should shout about it and let others know. Doing so acknowledges the people in your team who are working together, whether they’re from IT or the business. And, it shows the rest of the organization that an alliance between IT and the business can produce real results, evangelizing the new processes and procedures.

 

Your pilot project can help reduce the fear brought on by change across your organization. It may encourage other groups to come to you and say, “Hey, this is really cool! How did you do that?” Your project can be the small rock that creates a ripple effect throughout the company.

 

To introduce change at my workplace, we begin with small projects, focusing on one or two customers. We build best practices and empower other people in the company to follow them, educating them about our journey to a new operating model.

                                                                                                                                                        

To learn how HP can help your organization transition to the new style of IT, please visit www.hp.com/helion .

 

  • HP Cloud
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About the Author

TerenceNgai

cloud SaaS hybrid IT

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