Convincing senior leadership of the value of cloud remains one of the biggest hurdles to its adoption, say CIOs and technology executives.

In the Canadian 2017 CIO Census, 70 per cent of CIOs said that cloud met or exceeded their expectations as a productive technology for growth. Yet, at a recent ITWC roundtable, CIOs from Canadian mid-sized firms expressed concern about how to communicate the value of cloud to their business partners and senior management.

“Our mission is to help you maximize the benefits you get,” said Tony Ciceretto, President and CEO of TeraGo. During the discussion, Ciceretto and Eric Gales, Country Manager for Amazon Web Services Canada (AWS), outlined five key benefits that will help to persuade leaders to move forward with cloud.

  1. Retire technical debt. These days, hardware and software applications become legacies at lightning speed. It doesn’t take long for these assets to become liabilities and, as a result, companies accumulate as “technical debt”. Cloud pushes the infrastructure debt back to the cloud provider, which can manage it on a much larger scale. “Our job is to aggregate and scale,” said Gales. “The more we take on, the cheaper it becomes to provide services, and this gets passed on in a competitive environment.” This also reduces capital costs for customers.
  2. Increase agility. With cloud, organizations pay only for what they use. This makes it easy to scale almost any platform or service and saves the cost of having to buy enough infrastructure to support peak requirements. It also improves the organization’s ability to respond to changing market needs and overall time-to-market.
  3. Do new things. With no need to purchase hardware or build facilities, companies are freer to experiment. They can spin up new capabilities, test them out in a real, full-sized infrastructure, and then collapse them when they aren’t needed. From a management perspective, this reduces the risk and investment required to try large-scale projects that help the business become more competitive.
  4. Improve security. Senior managers might be surprised to learn that moving to the cloud will often improve the organization’s security posture. Security and compliance standards, such as encryption and auditing/reporting capabilities, are built into cloud solutions. The cloud is designed for every type of customer, including those that need the highest level of security, so all companies benefit, said Gales.
  5. Gain new capabilities with cloud. AWS makes hundreds of services available to its customers. These range from security assessment tools to artificial intelligence (AI) and big data programs, said Gales. Managers will be happy to know that these tools are also available on an as needed basis, making them affordable and allowing organizations to avoid large investments to get started.

“Hyper-scale cloud providers like AWS have opened a huge window of opportunity for all firms to have access to the same set of tools and technical facilities, regardless of company size – whether you have 20 employees or 20,000,” said Gales.