6 Things Every CEO Should Know About the Cloud

Kevin LynchCloud Computing, Cybersecurity & Compliance, Financial IT, Healthcare IT, Predictable IT Costs

A Harvard Business Review article from 2011, What Every CEO Needs to Know About the Cloud, cites cost, reliability, security and regulation as the greatest barriers to cloud adoption. Now, in 2017, the four barriers cited six years ago have become the four greatest drivers to the cloud.

While moving to a cloud computing model may seem like a decision for your IT team, it’s just as much a business decision. When properly implemented, cloud computing can help your organization further align with business goals, position your organization for future growth and reduce your organization’s overall IT costs. These, and other financial and operational benefits, make the decision to migrate to cloud computing a decision for the C-Suite.

We sat down with CEOs, Administrators and Managing Partners at some of our client organizations to hear what they wished they had known about the cloud, earlier. Here’s what they keyed in on:

Happy practitioners are priceless

Organizations typically transition to the cloud when they’re experiencing issues. These pains often make their users unproductive like downtime, security vulnerabilities, application slowness or unreliable systems.

Moving to the cloud relieves these pains and makes your users productive again. That means no late-night calls from that one accountant who always works after hours from home. No patients waiting at registration because the systems are slow again. And no missed revenue due to lost productivity.

Happy providers, advisers, partners and users are indeed, priceless.

Having one vendor simplifies…everything

IT encompasses a lot of responsibilities from purchasing computers and supporting users to implementing life-saving technologies and virtualizing server and storage infrastructures. The right cloud partner can provide your organization with the expertise to provide the breadth of services that you need, serving as an outsourced IT team.

At Netgain, we fondly refer to this benefit as having “one throat to choke.” Having this one vendor to manage rather than a different vendor for every facet of the IT department means less blaming other vendors and more enjoying the benefits of a productive cloud IT environment.

Cloud reduces costs

One of our clients’ favorite cloud benefits is the impact it has on their budget and cash flow.

What were once large, unpredictable capital expenses every three to four years become flexible and scalable operational costs with the cloud. The investment is based solely on the amount of resources you use and how many users you have, today. You don’t pay for resources you’re not using, as you would with an internal environment.

Over the lifespan of typical IT infrastructure, organizations typically save about 30 percent on their total IT cost of ownership.

Our CEO-clients love that this frees up their cash-flow to deploy to other revenue-producing areas of the business.

Security. Is. Everything.

Healthcare breaches and financial services cyberattacks are happening nearly every day in the United States and costing US practices millions of dollars in reputation damage, fines and legal settlements.

Our client-CEOs, Administrators and Managing Partners find peace of mind in knowing that Netgain is SSAE 18-compliant, adheres to strict HIPAA regulations, has a dedicated Security Officer and Security Team and takes on the responsibility of serving as a Business Associate for many of our clients.

Cloud enables you to expand or contract with your needs (we prefer to expand)

Growing your organization should be exciting – but the excitement is often diluted by the need for large, capital expenses like infrastructure. The cloud removes that burden.

Whether your organization is growing or you’re downsizing (we hope you’re growing!), your cloud environment can be easily scaled with minimal impact to your IT operations. The utility-based computing model that is the cloud, means you pay a monthly, per user fee that’s based on actual usage. If your organization uses more resources, you pay incrementally more. If you use less, well, you get the idea. The cloud stabilizes your IT costs and almost always decreases your total cost of IT ownership.

If you choose the right cloud partner, you’ll get a lot more than the cloud

Choosing the right cloud provider will determine your cloud strategy’s success. Look for a provider that is aligned with your organization’s expertise.

For instance, if you’re a healthcare practice, seek out cloud partners that have expertise in clinical IT. A healthcare-specialized partner will be able to not only understand your organization’s environment better, but will also be able to advise you on best practices and suggest tools or workflows that practices similar to yours have found success with. In addition, a healthcare-specific cloud provider, for instance, can offer experience and expertise in hosting your specific EHR and provide first-level support for those troubleshooting calls.

Other highly-regulated industries like financial services also find tremendous value in working with industry-specific cloud partners because of the additional value they bring above the technical expertise. If you manage a CPA firm, you might consider finding a cloud service provider that understands the intricacies of optimizing QuickBooks or CCH, or if you manage an RIA firm, you might prioritize a cloud service provider that emphasizes top-tier performance, availability and cybersecurity paired with dep financial IT expertise.

For arguably the first time ever, IT can be a strategic enabler of your business goals, rather than just a source of capital expenses and perpetual headaches. Understanding how the cloud can empower your overall business goals is powerful. It will give you the leading edge over your competitors and position your organization for growth and success.