Okay, the cloud drumbeat has been getting progressively louder over the last few years, so by now, I am sure you have heard it. You have probably heard the usual stuff about saving money, eliminating headaches, access on any device, blah, blah.
In this 5 part series, Forceworks will present some other aspects that you may not have thought about, or heard in the typical elevator pitch. In no particular order:
Your “IT” guy
I know a lot of very good IT guys, and as in many things, I think the 80/20 rule apples to this profession as well. 80% are awesome and dedicated to their employers, but that 20%… well, not so much. In this post I am referring to that 20% minority, so I guess that means there is a 1 in 5 chance that your guy is described below.
Often when we introduce a CEO to Software as a Service solutions I detect a sense of uncertainty. This is not surprising, whatever their business may be, they are probably not experts in technology. Frequently I hear something along the lines of “This sounds very interesting, let me run it by my IT guy and get back to you”.
Consider this: Microsoft, the world’s largest maker of on-premise software, is throwing everything they have into Software as a Service solutions running in their cloud environment. Don’t take my word for it, just go to microsoft.com and see for yourself. Microsoft is not the only one; the number of new software applications designed to run on-premise (installed on your computer or server) has slowed to a trickle. Meanwhile, the number of applications built to run in the cloud (accessed via a browser) is exploding. The writing is on the wall: we are all going to be doing our business 100% in the cloud very soon. Software as a Service is not a “Revolution” but rather an “Evolution”.
But what does this mean to the “IT guy” who has collected a paycheck for keeping all the black boxes with blinking lights in that back room running? This is not good news at all. Like a Detroit Auto Worker, his job is going away, or at least destined to radically change. If the black boxes are no longer there, and the software on all the machines is no longer there, he is not going to have a lot to do. In fact, him and his whole staff, if he has one, may well be replaced with a single person, possibly the receptionist, who does a little bit of administrative work part-time.
So it should not be surprising that many IT guys will give a litany of reasons why your particular organization should continue to maintain the status quo, each of which can be shot down with a rubber-band.
Hopefully this does not describe you, but some CEO’s have confided in me that they actually feel like hostages. Most businesses have evolved to become dependent on their technology to some degree, for many, it is mission critical. The fact that a ticked off IT guy can bring down your whole organization with two mouse clicks is a legitimate concern for some. If you are a middle market company, your IT guy may have evolved into that role starting as the person who best understood technology in your organization. With no formal training or certification, who knows what kind of system has been cobbled together. The busier your it guy is, the more likely he does not have a enough knowledge and instead runs around putting out fires constantly. What happens to your business when your email goes down? When a backup is lost? When a server crashes? All this fear and uncertainty just to maintain the status quo, never mind the fact that your organization is not even benefiting from the latest advances in software. Worst of all… you can’t get rid of him if you wanted to!
For many CEOs, an additional significant benefit of Software as a Service is regaining control of their business.
Okay, I agree, for many of you, this post will seem over-the-top. Again, I am speaking about a minority here. We get it, that’s why you won’t hear these things in a elevator pitch, but I know from experience that this will resonate with some of you.