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CIOs share lessons learned from the journey to the cloud

Thor Olavsrud | March 2, 2015
Shifting your organization's services and infrastructure to the cloud can bring unexpected perils. These are lessons learned from CIOs who have successfully navigated the journey.

-- Leandro Balbinot, CIO, Heinz


Overall, Patti says, AccuWeather's adoption of the cloud has allowed it to speed time-to-market and innovation, scale on demand, improve access to real-time weather data and cut its capital expenditure costs by 40 percent. But the journey has had its rocky points. For instance, Patti says some of his staff have been hard to win over.

"Ten percent to 20 percent of my staff are not embracing the cloud concept because they feel it's going to put them out of a job," he says. "I wish they would embrace the cloud more. You've got to align your staff with your strategic goals. All our new hires are being hired with that in mind. I don't need anyone to manage physical assets anymore."

Patti notes that AccuWeather now tries to do as many educational internal sessions as it can to show his IT staff what the company has done cloud-wise. In fact, Patti now considers cloud the default option for any project. His people need a solid justification for doing something on-premise.

"I challenge them to pick something they're doing now and figure out how to do it with the cloud," he says. "Look at things from a cloud-first perspective. The cloud should always be the default option because of what it buys you."

Underwriters Laboratories (UL) also has extensive tenure in the cloud. The global independent safety science company was the first to deploy a complete, global instance of Office 365 for its employees.

Office 365 Cures Paralysis by Notes and Domino
The company provides testing and certification services for 19,000 different products, materials, components and systems for more than 66,000 customers. But with more than 300 custom applications running on its IBM Lotus Notes and Domino messaging and collaboration infrastructure, the company found itself paralyzed.


"Kennametal thrives on product innovation to support our customers' most demanding requirements. More than 40 percent of our revenue comes from new product introductions, which in turn drives innovation and productivity for our customers."

"Moving to the cloud has enabled a rate of change that was not possible with an on premise solution and has opened up an entirely new channel for rapidly delivering new business capabilities that we're able to deliver in months versus years."

"As a result, we constantly have the latest tools for our employees, which puts them on a faster innovation path, and provides better solutions and service to our customers."

-- Steven Hanna, vice president and CIO, Kennametal.


"The best way to put it: We had become entangled," says Thomas Boxrud, director of Enterprise Infrastructure Services at UL. "We had more than 300 custom applications running in Domino. We were at the point where we could not even upgrade because we had customized it so much and newer versions would not support our global infrastructure."


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