I’ve written multiple articles about different facets of implementing the cloud, and it’s a worthy topic to continue to discuss. With any office, different challenges in implementation present themselves, and it can be all too easy to write off hurdles as a job for IT and proceed with business as usual.

The fact is, this approach is impractical at best and downright dangerous at worst. The cloud has instituted a revelation in terms of how data is stored and distributed, and it is up to businesses to involve employees in the adoption process. Doing so can confer sizable benefits in the long run; not only will they be more inclined to use the cloud safely, but the knowledge that they gain can lead to better productivity and perhaps even system improvements in the future.

Now, the main point behind cloud implementation is to benefit a business in some way. A formal ROI assessment is necessary when it comes to deciding the extent to which a business adopts the cloud. Implementation must align with business strategy, so it only makes sense to properly educate employees on its usage. After all, a business strategy in any other silo would warrant distributing proper information to employees. Doing so it about transparency as much as it is about practicality.

The cloud is often adopted to streamline common business practices such as marketing, finance, and manufacturing, along with countless others. However, often, employees won’t change much about their daily routines in response to the addition of cloud services. Protocols need to be updated alongside a shift in technology. Innovation in a company only really works if everyone is involved, and it is much easier to support a mass education effort than to individually instruct anybody that may benefit from cloud usage.

Another aspect of the advent of cloud computing is the breakdown of lines between system administration and users. New roles, even among non-IT staff, can help iron out problems and confusion while freeing up more time to focus on improvements and innovation. Consider executing interdisciplinary programs that give certain departments training to better prepare them for upcoming cloud changes. It’ll help streamline implementation and keep your company on the bleeding edge of competition. A great starting point is to identify employees that have a strong understanding of technology and offer to involve them in the adoption process and pass off their newfound knowledge to others in their departments.

But, even with education, cloud adoption initiatives can fall flat if there is no solid platform for employees to use the cloud. Consider skill levels and familiarity with technology when choosing a platform, as you’ll want UI and functionality that is easy to understand among employees of all skill levels.

There’s a shift coming in terms of what the next generation will need to be prepared for when joining the workforce. Given the popularity of the cloud, universities in countries such as India have had the foresight to give students some level of education in its use, making them more valuable to the companies they go on to work for. In companies working to implement this new technology, they would do well to follow this example, updating employee practices along with infrastructure to foster positive change.