Up in the Clouds…

… was I, but I was in for a rude awakening when I realized that I was stuck in traffic and going nowhere fast. There’s not a cloud service on earth that could get me to my meeting on time where numerous CIOs from Malaysia where waiting to hear my presentation. As it turned out, the unavoidable delay didn’t dampen the audience’s interest in the subject in the least. After all, the topic on today’s agenda was one that absorbs the attention of the community like no other: cloud computing.

May the devil take the hindmost! Everything is cloud today. I have the impression that the whole world is careening down the information superhighway toward the cloud. The simple reason: We need to be careful not to get stuck in a traffic jam or even causing one with our traditional way of thinking IT. Looking at cost pressure, the need for real-time communication, worldwide collaboration and continuously changing business processes we see some of the challenges that the cloud can help us handle very well. The same is true for improving time-to-market and the constant need for delivering innovations in a reasonable and beneficial way. So yes, the cloud services can deliver the answers.

There is no question of yes or no regarding cloud services – like there is no question that you must first get to the airport if you want to fly. If you want to be able to adapt flexibly to ever-changing challenges there simply is no better way than cloud services. Why? Because they are tailor-made to address many of the challenges CIOs and business leaders are facing today.

And while time is always of the essence, don’t let yourself be rushed. It is not a race to the clouds. It is a journey that requires careful planning and a scout who gets you safely from A to B with maybe some stops in between. A scout that leads the way and knows what is required. Like a tried-and-trusted taxi driver who knows the fast routes from your downtown hotel to your departure terminal.

He should help you optimize your existing assets, improve the technical conditions, make sure everything is secure and compliant. And, of course, he should also be your personal coach, limbering you up, improving your skills and focusing your mind on what is important. It is simply not advisable to force everything into the cloud all at once without proper planning – at least not all by yourself.

And what if you heed to my advice and find yourself stuck like me on my way to the CIO’s of Malaysia waiting for me in Waldorf? Believe me, even the worst traffic jam breaks up eventually. I may have been under pressure and my nerves may have been frayed but I did eventually get to the meeting. Sure, I was late, but that was the worst that happened. It was a great meeting and I would have been really sorry if I hadn’t traveled there at all.

Likewise, the cloud is a journey that is well worth to undertake. In order to avoid getting stuck in a traffic jam– the traffic jam of too much, too little or the wrong cloud – you need a partner you trust. And you need determination and a clear plan of what you want to achieve. So take it easy. There is a saying that patience is the sister of success. And another one about who wants to travel far must rise early. That wisdom applies to business strategy and IT projects like setting up a cloud strategy, too. My advice: Start immediately.  Do it flamboyantly. But seek advice by a good scout to get you there in time.


Andre Kiehne

Author: Andre Kiehne

Director Solution Sales, Microsoft Germany GmbH

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