Going to The Cloud is no longer anything ‘new’ or ‘innovative’. As stated by a trainer somewhere in a GCP training, “Cloud Computing is utilizing a platform that brings possibilities at a scale never available before.” With all that power at low cost, the last decade has shown another trend; Software as a Service (SaaS). Google Workspace, Slack, SalesForce, and if you bend the definition a little, Office 365 are all delivered as a service that’s “just there”. Almost like electricity. It’s there; it just works.
The IT parlance often uses the analogy of a car. In the early days, the driver had to know a lot about the inner workings. So much so that actually, the person was more of a mechanic than a driver.
However, modern technology has shifted this paradigm. Today, you can even have the flexibility of being in the "in-between stage" of worry-free ownership. Now you can lease a car with all the maintenance problems wrapped up nicely in a monthly fee, freeing you from the responsibility of even having to take a look at the engine. To take this analogy up a notch, you might not even want the car's exclusive rights- if all you want is transport when you need it, why have a car standing in front of your house when you're not driving it?
“The Cloud and SaaS are changing the IT landscape for a while now”
Similarly, The Cloud and SaaS are changing the IT landscape for a while now. In the early days, you needed engineering skills to run an IT department. You had to know about file servers, mail servers, security, infrastructure, the whole shebang. With SaaS, that ‘engineering’ need is gone. You buy a license, log in, and off you go. Of course, there is still a need for skilled engineers, but now they will likely be busier creating solutions than maintaining them. And for a good reason - The Cloud brings many more possibilities at a lower cost and with better scalability, availability, and security. The only reason not to migrate to cloud is if you’re not allowed to or simply don’t want to. Need another vehicle analogy? If you’re not allowed and need to do the maintenance yourself: a military tank. If you just don’t want to: a race car.
Security is of particular importance in the cloud, as it’s a shared responsibility. Like a leased car, the engineering is taken care of, the locks are fitted to the doors, but it’s our responsibility to use them. We still need to take precautions with our data and its access., Cloud technologies give us the flexibility of on-demand storage, but we are still required to lock the door to keep the contents safe.
“Just buy it as part of a service and be done with it”
With the power of the Cloud, an enterprise can buy services like endpoint management, disaster recovery, malware protection as part of a service, with no additional liabilities. OPEX, not CAPEX. Google Workspace, which runs directly from Google's data centers in a browser, is an excellent example. We can use various security tools like data loss prevention (DLP), built-in antivirus and single sign-on (SSO) with robust security wrappers to ensure that only those authorized and authenticated can access our precious data. Back to cars: Although leased vehicles are great, remember to lock your doors!
There is a new challenge that comes with all those fantastic new capabilities - change management. Before going into that, let’s look it up on Wikipedia:
“Change management (sometimes abbreviated as CM) is a collective term for all approaches to prepare, support, and help individuals, teams, and organizations in making organizational change. Drivers of change may include the ongoing evolution of technology, internal reviews of processes, crisis response, customer demand changes, competitive pressure, acquisitions and mergers, and organizational restructuring.” 
“Change Management is nicely aligned with the benefits of Cloud Computing”
Drivers of change.
Another car analogy? Just kidding. The reasons for implementing change management are nicely aligned with the benefits of cloud computing - faster, scalable, flexible, available, cheaper, everything you need to stay ahead of the competition and for the survival of an organization.
From a technical perspective, that’s an easy decision to make, but what about the employees? Earlier, our colleagues used to be bogged down because solutions dictated how work was to be done and organized. Now that functionalities are like services an organization subscribes to, it’s worth looking into the capabilities and needs of end-users too.
Let’s retake the car analogy. If you have a 4-cylinder sedan that can do 100km/h, you’ll probably get by with a driver's license and a bit of experience. But what about a full-size truck that can easily do 500 km/h and is also a boat? And a plane? It would be a bit weird not to change anything else. I'm sure you get my point.
Change Management is critical to maximize the outcomes of any investment. It’s where capability meets technology. Capability and technology can easily hinder each other, but great things can happen once an organization gets them aligned. Implementing something new as a service, just because you can, is probably not going to change things much for the better.
With Google Workspace, we see this often. Workspace implementations without proper CM result in people wanting to imitate Microsoft’s Office in Workspace with sub-par results. However, products start to shine when organizations learn to adapt and utilize the capabilities, resulting in a happier, more collaborative and effective workforce. At the same time, organizations see top-line improvements as data is used more effectively to support business outcomes and adopt Google’s Growth Mindset-focused ways of working.
Mind you; CM is not just ‘a training’ or ‘a poster’ somewhere. It’s an ongoing process. It should be part of business strategy, and it should be an effort that evolves with the organization to align technology and capability continuously. Change Management should be ingrained.
At Wipro in the Google Workspace Practice, we consider change management as the bedrock of successful implementation.
The CM workshop that kicks off implementation is a significant driver for technical architecture and planning. What is the vision behind all this? How will we meet strategic requirements? What holds us back? What is our readiness, and how do we get everyone on board? How do we excite employees for the upcoming changes? How do we enable the organization as a whole for what’s to come? How do we embed solutions, and last but not least - how do we continuously grow for the better? It’s quite the challenge. But it’s a critical factor of success. Therefore, Wipro has the capabilities to help you maximize your investment for the outcome. That transformation is exactly why organizations need to look into the possibilities of the cloud from the perspective of change management.
Change management is all about successfully getting from where we are now to where we want to be. Ha! Another car analogy. Let’s jump in and get on the road trip together.
"Change management - Wikipedia." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Change_management. Accessed 18 Aug. 2021.
Erik G. Bosman
Change & Transformation Lead, Wipro
Erik Bosman is the Change & Transformation Lead for the Google Workspace Practice. He works with enterprise customers to transform their workplace by bringing the Google way of working through change management and technology to increase productivity. Erik is also an experienced trainer and, in that capacity, has trained 1000s of employees at customers to fully utilize Google Workspace.