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Why Saying “We’ve Always Done It This Way” Is Hurting Your Customer’s Cloud Transformation

Posted by Greg Madore on Jan 10, 2018 12:00:00 PM

Stop me if you’ve heard this one:

A mother and daughter were preparing a chicken dinner together. The mother cut the legs off of the chicken before roasting it and when the daughter asked why, the mother replies, “That’s the way my mother always did it.”

The next time the daughter visits her grandmother, she asked, “Grandma, why do you and mom always cut the legs off the chicken?” and the grandmother replies, “That’s the way my mother always did it.”

The daughter then visits her great-grandmother in a nursing home. She sat beside her and asked, “Nana, why did you always cut the legs off the chicken before you cooked it?” The great-grandmother laughs and says, “My dear, I never owned a pan large enough for the whole bird!”

Just because something’s “always been done this way” doesn’t mean it’s the right way to do it. It’s very easy to get caught up in traditional processes – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Unfortunately, clinging to legacy processes just because it’s “the way we’ve always done it” can squash better or more efficient options and innovations, especially in IT.

Say your customer wants to set up a cloud. Whether the customer is moving to the cloud for the first time or transitioning from a private to a hybrid cloud solution, broken processes will only hinder their success. Here’s how to get your customer started on the right foot:

Step 1: Want to change

Begin by analyzing the pain points your customer’s business encounters on a regular basis. What is the customer spending the most time doing manually? Look for repetitive tasks or things that fall under the 80/20 rule. In other words, if IT teams are spending 80% of their time doing 20% of their tasks, they are probably losing opportunities for effi­ciency and pro­fit.

So if a particular task is repetitive and manual in nature, it’s a process that can very likely be automated and moved into the cloud quickly. By moving those types of tasks to the cloud ­first, your customer can address a variety of pain points and see a very quick return on investment through increased effi­ciency and employee productivity.

Step 2: Make a plan

Many organizations address their process pain points internally by developing code or subscribing to software services to provide a customized in-house solution. Your customer can probably build on the foundations their developers have laid as they move processes to the cloud. Encourage your customer to talk to their developers about what they’re using now and how automating some of that to the cloud can address their pain points as well.

When your customer talks to developers, the business needs to determine what the developers are using to do their jobs. Which development platform are they using? What kind of database? Typically, that's what they are going to want to stand up quickly in order to be able to do their jobs more ef­ficiently. Plan to automate the development platforms and the databases with developers’ input for another quick return on investment.

Step 3: Gain sponsorship and encourage teams

Your customer will need executive sponsorship to start off on the right path with their cloud solution. Since automating processes to the cloud will impact the entire organization, its processes and the bottom line, they will need input and buy-in at every level - from C-level leadership to middle managers, engineers, developers, IT staff and so on. A pain point for a middle manager, developer or engineer might be completely different than the pain point for an executive.

For example, an executive’s pain point might be the inability to report on the data that would prove that the business is making a good investment. Your customer would need to build reporting capability into their cloud solution.

Step 4: Commit and follow through

It’s not enough to identify and plan out how your client can improve processes. Your customer needs to follow through and implement the change within their organization. I wish I could say that every team would leap at the opportunity to improve efficiency or speed or accuracy in its day-to-day functionalities, but the truth is, that change can be a difficult thing to accept. Many times organizations get to this step and lose buy-in because it is “too much work” to change.  

When your customer introduces a new technology, it requires adoption, training and sponsorship. It's vital to embrace all aspects of the transition from an organizational standpoint. Depending on the complexity of the business and the processes they’ll be moving to the cloud, you may recommend collaborating with cloud design experts to be sure your customer is getting started correctly. When choosing a cloud partner, advise your customer to look for a company that’s been building cloud solutions for many years and has a track record of success in creating custom solutions for various industries and organizations.

Every business has different pain points. Every business has a different end result that they desire. Urge your customer to begin the cloud transition process with an open mind and a dynamic set of questions, and then take it from there.

Tech Data’s cloud team has been building cloud solutions for many years and has a track record of success in creating custom solutions for various industries and organizations. E-mail tdcloud@techdata.com to learn more about how we can help you accelerate your cloud business.


Tags: Cloud, Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Cloud Transformation