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Forget "The Cloud."

Appian Contributor
November 25, 2014

Forget "The Cloud."

"The Cloud" may just be the worst tech marketing term in the history of tech marketing terms.

It's no wonder IT pros have trouble getting comfortable with the cloud.

Think about it. We love it when it's sunny. Most people hate the rain. And cloudy? Unless it's with a chance of meatballs, anything cloudy is usually considered unpleasant, unclear, or generally dreary. In the clouds? OK, a little better, but if your head is in the clouds, then you're a dreamer ñ there remains a negative connotation: someone who dreams, but does not act.

Why would you turn over control of your system operations, your security, perhaps even your raison d'etre to something that makes you uncomfortable?

Because it can make your team and your entire organization better.

So, forget "The Cloud" as a term. Instead, focus on how it impacts your IT operations and business results.

Here are three things a cloud platform empowers you to do:

    • Make it Easy

Enterprise technology is generally difficult to build, use, and maintain. Every IT Pro has lived through a rough integration of that new solution into the legacy systems currently in place. Upgrades are put off, not necessarily because the new version won't be better, but because the upgrade is perceived as too difficult to justify the improvement! Cloud in this sense means it's easier, especially for the IT team.

    • Stay modern

When you're in the constant state of upgrades, updates, and troubleshooting, you just can't adequately address the stirring change that is evolving around us. Cloud keeps your systems and software perpetually up-to-date so that it just works, no matter the new technology you'd like to incorporate. And, by not worrying about keeping systems up-to-date, the IT team can spend more time focused on innovation.

    • Fail fast

How do you get ahead? By turning ideas into reality. By making mistakes and learning from them. By failing early and often. What kind of impact could your IT team have if it could transform solution ideas into business apps in hours? Having the technology in place that is easy and modern allows you to fail fast and succeed faster.

What it comes down to is this: Do you want to deliver the technology pieces and parts to help your organization keep things operating as usual? Or do you want to deliver a service that could help transform how work gets done and drive impactful results?

Forget "The Cloud" as a marketing term. Instead, understand the benefits of cloud deployment, how it has evolved, and the opportunity cost of maintaining exclusively on-premise systems.

This blog post is the third in a series on CIO Challenges.

Zach Messler