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Company culture in the age of the cloud

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Implementing the new processes and workflows that come with digital evolution—like migrating to the cloud—can throw off a company’s workflow more than you might imagine at first. Failure to properly manage these changes can result in disrupted productivity and unhappy employees—potentially harming the company culture your team has worked so hard to build.

Here are a few tips for managing company culture in the age of the cloud:

Address change.

Long-standing businesses have had the unique experience growing through different stages of technology advancement. Altering processes can cause disruption—especially in organizations where employees have maintained positions for more than 10 years. 

To maintainpositive company culture, transparency is key. Be sure to communicate upfront why changes are being made, how they will impact employees, and what the roll-out plan is. This will help employees be more open to embracing the change. 

remote employee

Maintain a smooth migration.

The impact a move to the cloud has on a business depends not only on the particular platform used, but also on how the transition is carried out. Before initiating a migration, leaders should establish an understanding of the cultural changes necessary.

Encourage a culture of connectivity and communication.

Department integration is inevitable when working in the cloud. As a result, it’s important for business leaders to create a culture that encourages a company-wide understanding of what each department does and how the role they play in executing the company’s strategy. This cross-functional understanding will help employees work together to achieve business objectives. 

Establishing a dynamic where employees feel not only comfortable working with others outside of their department but are also able to foster friendships, can lead to a more enjoyable and collaborative culture that’s more conducive to the cloud. Communications platforms—such as Slack or Google Hangouts—allow employees to share ideas with one another, build relationships across the company, and ensure everyone stays in the loop during organizational changes. 

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Minimize disruption to maintain culture.

Apart from the expected changes in workflow that come with the cloud, it’s best to reduce any extraneous disruption wherever possible. Experts advise choosing a provider based on a series of qualifiers—including reliability, performance, and company research and development (R&D) investment in emerging technologies. This process ensures as smooth a transition as possible. Acknowledging these performance metrics and making an informed decision about your cloud provider is essential to a minimally-disruptive migration and long-term partnership.

Unplanned disruptions to employees’ daily workflow, brought on by insufficient security measures or untimely updates, can hinder employees’ trust in migration and can negatively impact culture. Ensuring the business isn’t disrupted is essential.

Start small.

Introducing new technologies to your business demonstrates a commitment to an innovative future—and cloud migration is a vital step in the path to growth and advancement in this digital age. Depending on your organizational strategy, change may be easy or hard.

For example, if your organization has an Exploring strategy—one focused on innovation and agility—it’s likely this change is one of many. As a result, the change will happen more quickly and easily. But if your organization has a Stabilizing strategy—one based on process and procedure—change may be less common and slower going. If innovation isn’t at the forefront of your business strategy, employees may not be as comfortable with the idea of adopting new technologies and may be hesitant to adapt to new ways of doing things. That’s normal! Just know that, if this is the case, the change will take more time. 

Implement a change management program.

A change management program is especially important as you begin introducing more emerging technologies into your organization. To best prepare your team for future innovation, senior leaders should develop a carefully planned approach to new technology rollouts that ideally breaks the process up into segments, allowing for continuous proof of concept rather than simply promising forthcoming benefits. 

They should also consider who change agents are in the organization. Who will be a champion for change? Who will help other people adopt new ways of thinking and doing things? By enlisting the support of internal change agents, you make the change management process easier—and maintain positive morale and trust among your employees.

Get ready for what’s ahead.

Heading into 2020, there are exciting things to come for business. Investing in your people and your technology is one of the greatest moves you can make to set your business up for success in this new year.

Mike is the business applications architect at PI. His goal is to run in all 50 states—so far he's checked off 20.

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