When I first joined Microsoft in 2001 I met the indomitable Bob McDowell, the founder of Microsoft Consulting Services and the author of “Driving Digital” (yes in 2001). He relayed a story of his meeting with a CEO of a financial institution, where his secretary brought him his email printed out on paper for him to read. When the CEO asked Bob what recommendations could be made, Bob’s response was “you should resign”. The point being that by 2001 if you were not using email yourself, you were totally missing the power of technology to transform your business. We are at another such point.
Niagara Falls sends about 2.2 Million litres/second (600,000 gallons/second) over the edge. That’s a good analogy to the velocity and volume of cloud computing now. Some technology trends have been fads that start and then fizzle, some are persistent. This is one of the persistent ones with well over $200 Billion invested by the major cloud players today. There may be people in your organization that still want to paddle upstream and continue trying to serve your company with traditional technology, but it is only a matter of time before they physically exhaust themselves and get swept over the edge, perhaps unprepared to have your company make the journey safely. The key point being is all that time spent paddling against the current, just lets your competitors get further downstream and you may never catch them again.
The most important thing you need to realize about Cloud Computing is not the inherent cost savings. It is the velocity. Innovations and new competitive capabilities are delivered on the cloud daily, not in the 3, 5 or 10 year cycles of traditional on-premise computing. If you as CEO are not being told what machine learning or BOT technology or cognitive services can do for your business from your IT group, go ask them.