Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members


Cloud technology has been around for a few years now, and most modern businesses had been evaluating shifting to the cloud model much before the pandemic struck. However, most of these companies didn’t actually go ahead with cloud adoption despite knowing well about its plethora of benefits.

The pandemic has transformed that hesitation to eagerness as the top management of most businesses want to transition to cloud to gain a competitive edge and seize the opportunities arising in the post-Covid era, by attaining organizational agility, innovation and scalability through digitization.

For embracing cloud technology quickly and effectively, several teams need to work in sync – chiefs of information, technology, finance, HR and information security have to collaborate and to make that happen smoothly, CEOs must take an active leadership role and orchestrate the show.

According to McKinsey, if CEOs were to ask the CIO and CTO what they needed in order to catalyze the shift to cloud, they would ask for the following three interventions:

  1. Setting up a sustainable funding framework that supports adequate investment that is needed to extract business value
  2. Developing a new operating model that balances business and technology to exploit cloud for agility, speed and efficient scalability
  3. Establishing the HR model that facilitates acquisition of specialized engineering talent needed for efficient cloud operations

Creating business value with cloud

Unlike other technologies like virtualization and Linux, cloud adoption needs an economic profile which is different and more expensive. Cloud platforms can substantially catalyze important business actions like deploying smarter digital customer experiences from months to days and support analytics that would not be possible with older tech platforms. But to derive maximum business value from cloud a complete technological transformation is must, for which ample investment would be required.

The CEOs are in a unique position to arrange the funds by brokering a deal between the senior management and the cloud management team, but there must be complete clarity about what the company will get in return of that investment. For instance, moving customer facing applications to public cloud domain can enable quicker and cheaper entry into new markets.

Once the investment is made available the CEOs should monitor the performance of the cloud model and make sure it offers phenomenally better performance as promised by the cloud technology.

Fresh operating model

After the funding model is taken care of, the focus should be on creating an integrated system where the IT teams and business teams will work together. To do that a cross functional operating model should be developed that combines agile operational capabilities and cloud-based digital technology. Such a model can break silos and accelerate digital transformation by facilitating a well sequenced agility drive, while supporting both employee and customer journeys.

A business-technology operating model that is cloud ready is expected to need several interventions, but the following three areas would need attention from the CEO:

  • Improving business interaction
  • Embracing agile in IT
  • Encourage taking pragmatic risks

Talent acquisition

Currently, the CIOs and CTOs are in a leading position because of their exemplary work in the wake of the pandemic. The CEOs should make sure that these leaders retain that momentum while implementing the transition to cloud. The cloud technology requires hiring of a very specialized team of engineers that are small in numbers but very expensive.

It is thus expected that the regular hiring policies put in place by the CHRO must be tweaked to acquire the right talent. Company CEOs can enable this through suitable intervention as this will play a crucial role in determining the success of the shift to cloud.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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