The UK’s top 100 CEOs almost exclusively come from a financial background where the black and white of balance sheets and cost benefit analysis drive investment decisions and the boardroom mantra is: ‘if it can wash its own face and pay its own way, it can come to the corporate party’.

Likewise, the FD is interested in cost savings, and the business case has to be made for every investment decision. In such a risk-averse climate, there seems little room for innovation if that idea involves a long ROI time.

Enter the cloud into this world of corporate conservatism where even the IT director, who one would hope act as a sponsor for its business benefits, may be more concerned about security of the data, but also his or her job, if the business does decide to put its financial head in the clouds.

In this climate, the wheels of UK plc can move agonisingly slowly, but this would be seen as a rapid ‘day at the office’ compared to some of the more conservative professions.

How, for example, do cloud consultants influence the old-school retailer with a head for sales but conscious of brand protection, PCI compliance and the threat of constant hacks into sensitive customer data? What about the legal profession, government departments run by civil servants or the military who, because of the threat of international terrorism and espionage, must have cyber security neatly boxed and nailed down where they can see and understand it?

These are the challenges for cloud solution providers who have the technology to assist, but also need to convincingly articulate the fail safe, ground zero scenarios delivered as hygiene factors.


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