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How to discover individual strengths and develop a strong team
The way people work is changing. It’s becoming more digital, more transient. But despite the change, many agencies remain structured in a conventional way that restricts data and people from moving as quickly as they can. A move up to the “cloud” changes all that.The cloud refers to online data storage, preserved in networked “pools” hosted by third parties. The cloud takes big data analysis to the next level by creating and processing vast datasets … and fast. According to Amazon®, “Shared resources, software and information are provided to computers and other devices on-demand, like electricity.” The real benefit that comes with electricity-like data is that it can be accessed from anywhere, which is a huge appeal to employees—and prospective employees!

Presently, about 40 percent of organizations with business process management (BPM) initiatives use the cloud to support at least 10 percent of business processes.  So, if you decide to tackle cloud-based computing, you don’t have to do it by storm. Any move to the cloud, big or small, would reduce traditional office management work. Think how much thinner and more mission-centric your agency could be. Now that’s good use of tax dollars!

A closer look at the cloud’s efficiency
More and more agencies are looking to cloud computing to help them increase efficiency. The infusion of marketing dollars alone speaks to its perceived efficiency: In 2012, marketing public cloud services was forecasted to grow to 19.6 percent and total US $109 billion worldwide.Deloitte Consulting® zeroed in on those efficiency improvements in a recent corporate research paper. Let’s take a look:

  • Shared resources, specifically for human resources, mean government employees would be part of a central talent pool from which any agency could pull.
  • Virtualized tasks and projects can be assigned to the most capable employees within the cloud’s talent pool.
  • Lower maintenance costs would result because agencies no longer have to manage staff for their individual needs. Instead, employees are managed by one central HR function.

Introduce cloud computing at your agency and watch costs come down and project completion times dwindle!

Movin’ on up
Here’s a play-by-play plan in case you’re considering a move to the cloud. It’s kind of a big idea and it would be a fairly big shift. Start slowly and allow your staff adequate time to absorb everything about it.

  • Check first. Your IT department has thoughts on this … ensure they are involved or guiding this process.
  • Discuss together. Seek to get everyone on the same page; inform your staff about the “cloud’s” pros and cons and its opportunity for your agency. This video by Deloitte is a lighthearted way to start. Send them home with clouds to keep their wheels turning, something like a small stress reliever to act as a visual reminder of the idea at-hand.
  • Research and plan. Once you’ve got a better idea of the challenge related to the switch, have your IT team establish a project plan, timeline and budget analysis to ensure the transition comes off without a hitch.
  • Implement and kick-off. As the D-day draws near, communicate the steps of the transition to the rest of your staff. If you have a big team, you may want to designate specific people as team leaders for the length of the implementation process.
  • Schedule training. The more thorough the training on the new “system,” the more painless the switch. Ease the perceived pain of agency-wide training with convenient incentives—like wireless mice, for example. Budget for at least a full business day, if not two, for enough training to bring everyone up to speed. A season slowdown may be the best time. Aim for that and back-plan.
  • Troubleshooters. Your internal IT team is the key to this process and they’ll be working hard to ensure it stays on track. Recognize those people as your go-to troubleshooters. Reward them for their hard work with vests or shirts that make them recognizable go to’s.

When it’s all said and done, you’ll begin to notice how much more quickly you’re able to achieve project milestones. You may want to recognize your staff’s dedication to mastering the move to the cloud with new laptop cases for days they need to call on the cloud to access data remotely. (Because now they can!)

Cloud Storage.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 15 Feb. 2013. Web. 19 Feb. 2013.

A Look Back At The Cloud Computing Trends Of 2012.” CloudTweaks, 18 Dec. 2012. Web. 19 Feb. 2013.

“GovCloud: The Future of Government Work.” Deloitte Consulting, n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2013.

A Look Back At The Cloud Computing Trends Of 2012.” CloudTweaks, 18 Dec. 2012. Web. 19 Feb. 2013.

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