How to Get C-Suite Buy-In for Cloud Migration and Show Clear Financial Impact

As the CEO of a company that guides businesses on innovation, technical design, and implementation, I’ve often found that when we talk about cloud migration, a little bit of resistance can come from the C-suite. This is understandable, as my passion for leveraging the cloud is not equivalent to someone who is in charge of finances or marketing. However, I’ve developed a few tactics to help with this process so these leaders can more easily assess if the cloud could create net gains for their organization.

Reinvent the Process

I like to think of the cloud as a virtual data center — a modern information hub. Someone goes to a cloud because they want to take advantage of it, either to use a lot of software-defined technologies or to get rid of a lot of hardware and cabling. It’s not really a migration; it’s not really a shift. It’s a complete modernization of your data systems. By taking technology assets and human resources from one current state to a much more modern state, a company can reduce the amount of labor, technologies, and tools they use. The real net gain becomes the agility the company now has to drive value faster with technology. This newly modernized speed and agility can help create additional markets and opportunities.

Define the Net Gains

At my company, we like to show what current state the data is in and exhibit the true ramp period and cost transformation to the C-suite team. We compare that transformation cost to their total cost of ownership, as well as the risk management and additional security. This way, we can start to see the net gains from the agility perspective of each C-suite team member.

A major benefit of migration is talent retention, which is where companies lose a lot of money. In a tight labor market, it’s very important to make sure employees are being driven to learn the latest and greatest information, skills, and technologies. Retaining talent means giving them a journey that includes upgrading their abilities. Presenting both these quantitative facts and the qualitative outputs helps the members of the C-suite make decisions that align with their bottom-line goals.

Anticipate the Obstacles

If you tell them that the transformation will end up taking fewer people to manage, use fewer tools, or that the department or company can be much more agile, the decision-makers can start to quantify and qualify the change management it takes to do that. When you give someone that life cycle, with everything outlined and mapped out with the eventual benefits and supported facts, it is much easier to help the client make the right decision for their situation. These critical facts can show the journey and that the end results are supported.

Convert Them Into Believers

James Farhat is the CEO of ACTS. He has provided thought leadership in the area of technology to executives in Fortune 500 companies for over 20 years.