Leadership & Cloud Computing

How Management Has Changed with the Cloud

Have you read the trades lately? Regardless of what industry you’re part of, trade publications across the board have run articles citing a major shift in business protocol this year: it’s time for your business to get on the cloud. Brought on by the pandemic and the workforce’s shift to remote work, the call for digitally transforming a business has become louder and more pressing than in years past. In each analysis written or how-to article published, one function stands above the rest as an integral part of the digital transformation: the cloud.

Once viewed merely as a secondary storage option, the cloud is now responsible for how employees share information, communicate with each other, organize tasks and more. For some companies, entire operating systems and processes are built upon a cloud infrastructure. You would be hard pressed to find a cloud dissenter, too. Even governments are increasingly incorporating cloud functions.

While the focus on cloud implementation has been on how it changes the systems of a business, often overlooked is how it’s changing the roles within the business. Once working largely unseen, system integrators have shifted from working as part of the IT department to on-site business strategy consultants, offering invaluable insight to how the future of business looks and operates. Their role doesn’t end there, either. Once a new work structure is in place, it again falls on the system integrators to ensure proper training and troubleshooting during the early stages of implementation.

A recent article on TechRepublic echoes this sentiment. Interviewing senior vice president and business head for cloud, infrastructure, and security services at Infosys, a multinational IT consulting company, Anant Adya, the article quotes his analysis of the field saying “systems integrators have become cloud orchestration experts.”

Part of the shift in job roles is in part due to the increase of cloud computing in businesses. Previous to the pandemic, businesses had already begun rolling out digital systems; however, this increased tenfold in the matter of mere months as companies began viewing the cloud as a source of stability and a tool to create a resilient workflow during the first half of this year. And the role changes haven’t been isolated to the IT department either.

The use of technology throughout different work processes has led all management levels — from departmental supervisors up to board directors and c-suite — to work beside and become IT intermediaries themselves.

In order to best serve clients, customer service and sales management teams, for instance, have begun incorporating the cloud into their product offerings and customer service protocols. A business offering 24-hour support can use the cloud to assist their overnight service teams; and a sales manager looking to expand their market and industry reach, may find that adding a cloud product opens a doorway to explore untapped markets. These managers, then, must become experts and technicians of their new digital procedures.

On the opposite side, IT professionals then need to flex their knowledge in order to make sure cloud rollouts happen smoothly; and, have the business as a whole in mind in order to help guide the implementation of additional digital and cloud based solutions.

As the cloud begins a growing part of business, it’s important to recognize whose role is affected and how. Possibly once overlooked departments may now be indispensable. Some who could once be hands-off are now called upon to be front-and-center. As the pandemic swept the world, the cloud brought remote workers together and kept many companies functioning. In a similar fashion, it can now be seen that it brings leadership together, requiring symbiotic interdepartmental relationships in order to best bring the business forward.

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