The president of the Canadian Cloud Council dicusses the cultural issues that may be leading organizations to miss out on opportunities to transform themselves for the future.
Why are Canadians not adopting cloud services at a rate consistent with other leading G20 countries?
In a recent conversation I had with Alistair Croll, Founder at BitCurrent and Canadian Cloud Council
board member, we both felt that the issue may be twofold. Although
there are certainly technology-related barriers to entry, the issue may
also be related to Canadian culture in general.
First of all,
cloud is perceived as risky, and Canadians are risk-averse and typically
late adopters of most everything. Look no further than legislation on
capital gains, ultra-conservative banking regulation, house pricing, and
myriad other things that are driven out of risk- adverse policy and
cultural conservatism. The concept that “cloud is risky” is a nuanced
discussion. Depending on whether you’re using public or private clouds,
and whether you’re talking SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS, your risks could be
derived from data leakage, cost and operational inefficiency, vendor
lock-in, cultural mismanagement, or network security.
things that the Canadian Cloud Council are doing to fix the potential
misconception that “cloud is risky” are to explain the nuances so
Canadian consumers evaluate risk more intelligently and holistically;
and reset the expectations of cloud adoption so people realize that the
risk isn’t about adopting clouds, it’s about not doing so and getting
beaten by faster, more focused, more agile competitors who overcome
traditional barriers to entry.
Second of all, cloud (like the
Internet) is inherently multinational and it is possible that we created
an artificial borders problem. Saying “the Canadian cloud” doesn’t mean
much; it’s like saying “the Canadian Internet.” With most of our TV
shows and films coming from the US, there’s no reason to expect that
we’ll maintain our national identity in the long haul without a
significant amount of effort. If a company uses Google Mail, Dropbox,
Expensify, Salesforce, Freshbooks, Tripit, and a bunch of other cloud
services, perhaps only one or a few of them are Canadian.
end user of the consumable cloud service really care about data
sovereignty or where a cloud service resides? Or, does the issue reside
only with the CIO who may be fighting the “Shadow IT” brigade anyways?
The Canadian Cloud Council is educating Canadian corporations on how to
drive effective cultural change management processes within an
organization so cloud is provisioned and operationalized in a unified,
measured and ROI driven fashion. If both the business and technology
side of an organization build a cloud strategy in unison, understand the
risks and rewards of the cloud in unison and actively support the
operational process in unison, it has as much better chance of
successful execution and acceleration.
If we want to encourage
domestic cloud initiatives, we’re essentially pushing for protectionism
and the need to keep things at home; the history of the Internet shows
that information tends to ignore such things, and it’s like putting
toothpaste back in the tube. So what we really want to do is make sure
the legislation is practical and pragmatic, and gives Canadians a level
playing field against other countries when using or building cloud