The Shift to the Cloud: Overcoming Resistance to Change – Part 2
“Change before you have to.”
- Jack Welch, legendary ex-CEO of General Electric.
In the first part of this article (See: The Shift to the Cloud: Overcoming Resistance to Change –
Part 1) I discussed some reasons why people resist the shift from traditional IT
infrastructure to cloud computing, and also proposed some ways to counter such resistance. In this article,
I will provide further details of the same besides information on managing such strategies.
5. People resent their lack of involvement in the change
It is an established fact that people fear the unknown. When a major change like shifting to the cloud is
dropped on an unsuspecting workforce, they feel as if their opinions are not valued by the management.
Consequently, not only do they not support it, they can also try and work against it. Therefore, this reason
can be countered by not only keeping everyone in the loop, but actively soliciting input. Who knows,
some innovative ideas can come out of such a feedback mechanism.
6. People resent the pace of change
Deciding to migrate a company’s IT systems to the cloud overnight may not be greeted with enthusiasm.
However, if the same change were carried out in a phased manner, with sufficient time between phases
to allow the small changes to sink in, then even a big change can get employee buy-in. Therefore, this
reason can be countered by making the shift to cloud computing slow and steady.
7. People are not convinced of how the change will improve things
People generally believe “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?” However, they must be made to realize that
“Prevention is better than cure.” Hence, in order to prevent technological obsolescence, a shift to the
cloud is necessary, and the benefits of such a change are not limited to cost savings alone. After all, Noah
didn’t start to build the Ark when it started raining.
Now, here are some general recommendations on implementing a cloud strategy successfully:
1. Get a team of convinced and influential individuals
In order to spread a message, it’s far more effective to get a solid team, spanning different hierarchical
levels, together who believe in the message instead of broadcasting it to all and sundry. This team,
through its influence, can get more people to believe in the idea of cloud computing than a direct message
from the CEO can.
2. Celebrate small victories
Celebrate every successful phase implementation. These small celebrations will help in building momentum and getting more people to believe in the idea of cloud computing.
Combining these general suggestions with the specific ones mentioned under each reason for resistance, a business can make the shift to cloud computing with the support of its employees. Of course, after change is implemented, it is important to ensure that it is enforced as well. In such a situation, the management may have to be strict in dealing with naysayers.
By Sourya Biswas