User demand thrusts Cloud into boardroom

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Enterprise cloud technology will go mainstream in 2012 – but more as a result of cultural changes rather than just technology.

That’s according to Thomas Davies, the head of enterprise sales for UK and Ireland for Google Apps. He said the familiarity and ubiquity of cloud technology in the end user community is driving change – even business transformation – in the enterprise.

“It used to be that the Blackberry had to be earned and it was like getting your wings,” he said. “Now it is about having access to your stuff whenever and wherever and changing your device every few months not years. When people go to work they are demanding the same from day one.”

And that includes the directors who are also among the savvy new users. He said this has also led a cultural shift in the enterprise boardroom. “Three or four years ago the conversation with customers was with the CIO and it was usually about total cost of ownership. Now it is with all board managers including the CEO and it’s about change management, migration and security.”

Davies said the value argument of cloud computing had already been won – “the business case can almost write itself now.”

He added that security was still an important issue but was dropping down the agenda. “They’ve done the due diligence; they see other enterprises doing it. “

He feels the cultural shift not only means employees accept the new ways of doing business, they have an appetite for it suggesting it will not experience some of the blocking and stalling traditional IT commanded projects can experience. “We are all use to change now,” said Davies. “We like to work within teams and this technology allows us to collaborate with colleagues and that breeds innovation. Their use grows in a viral way through an enterprise.”