CEO at CloudSphere.

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My past few articles covered a range of modernization challenges and presented a few cyber asset management strategies that enterprises can use to overcome them. Running throughout these efforts are some critical change management considerations and workforce dynamics that must also be addressed and optimized to position organizations for success.

The need to align employee values and behaviors with the realities of the modern digital enterprise is well established. Companies are coaxing employees to be more data-driven and risk-aware and to incorporate fail-fast, continuous improvement and other agile principles into their mindset for working. Let’s now apply these change management priorities specifically to cyber asset management and the workforce considerations that arise when companies pursue cloud migration and broader modernization efforts.

The Strategic Mindset For Modernization

One of the key things to understand about cloud migration is that although such migrations may seem very project-oriented—with distinct phases and move groups of systems going into the cloud—the outcome of this modernization is a permanent shift in how the business is run. That means the workforce must adapt and understand that there will never be a return to the old ways of doing things.

Therefore, change management priorities must be founded not just on basic principles of data literacy and enhanced awareness of cyber risk but also on cultivating an ongoing strategic mindset for modernization. Everyone in the workforce must adopt a more comprehensive view of the impacts and interdependencies that come with a more digitized, connected and cloud-intensive working environment.

This requires a more holistic way of thinking before, during and after a migration—with team members looking at time, assets and resources together because they’re all commingled. As an example, your proactive choices in prioritizing databases for migration must factor in licensing, end-of-life schedules and other considerations that could impact costs, support and performance long after the migration is over.

Post-migration, you must adopt new workflows and patterns for everything from backups and security posture to access management and reporting. A more transparent, collaborative and cross-disciplinary approach to problem-solving is now required among the workforce. Problems and solutions typically involve a blend of factors that may include funding, technical integration, licensing costs and changes in business requirements.

Change Management Toward A Culture Of Modernization

Ultimately, your goal is to create what you could call a culture of modernization, characterized by a workforce with fewer silos and comfortable with the idea of continuous optimization of assets and systems. That includes team members always having one eye on the future, considering how new technologies could be incorporated over time.

This culture of modernization is represented in the human processes and interactions that make key modernization activities possible. As an example, let’s take the practice of cloud tagging, something I wrote about at length from a technical perspective in a previous article.

Advanced cloud tagging provides the visibility to optimize costs, reduce cyber risk and support the overall modernization effort. Underpinning the technical best practices are the workforce processes and skills to make them real in the organization. These include designating stakeholders to be stewards responsible for promoting and enforcing consistent processes and parameters, including retroactive tagging wherever developers may have added assets, functions or services they didn’t think to tag previously.

There also must be provisions for training remote workers and vendors on those same tagging procedures. And periodic alignment is necessary between tagging stewards and business users with the goal of ensuring tags remain optimized to the business need and effective in deriving business value from related assets over time.

That’s just one example of the change management drill-down that has to happen for all the enhanced processes and procedures that make up the modernization landscape. Throughout, organizations must provide the necessary buy-in and backing from top leadership to instill these values. Documentation is needed, with role-specific processes and checklists to ensure proper data governance procedures.

The concept of shared risk ownership is also very important, as team members must be familiar with how their individual jobs can impact business and security risks in a multicloud environment. Such awareness must be embedded within company culture for governance to be effective.

Conclusion

Although cloud migrations can seem like project-intensive, technology-based efforts, the reality is that they’re a bridge to a permanent shift for the organization. This shift requires a culture of modernization to help the workforce adapt and flourish over the long haul in these advanced multicloud environments. This culture of modernization needs to start at the top to help drive pervasive change. And the payoff comes with improved performance, costs and security.


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