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Beware: Geek imposters threaten to kill your cloud

Making the switch to cloud services is hard. It requires dedication and cooperation, and the whole process can be derailed by a nasty batch of geek poseurs. Find out how to keep fake geeks in line.

Weekly cloud computing update

Building and using cloud computing services at scale is hard. It takes coordination and teamwork among groups of people that never usually work together. It takes courage to adopt a new approach to design and architecture, in many cases switching off old systems and processes to install new ones. Plenty of IT naysayers in your company would love to see your innovative plans fall flat.

These naysayers are actually geek imposters. Once upon a time, these employees were excited by new technology and finding better ways of doing things. But now they're comfortable with the systems they've built and are wary of change. They may be jaded or cynical, possibly for good reason. They are no longer open to new ideas, especially anything to do with cloud computing, which they think smells a lot like outsourcing and job elimination.

Instead of thinking about how to build services, they are stuck on building servers. And unfortunately, these geek imposters will cast doom and gloom on your plans to move to the cloud. They have reasons why cloud computing is the wrong choice for your company. They won't work through those issues; rather, they will simply say it's impossible.

Geek imposters are easy to spot:

Genuine geek Geek imposter
Works late to finish projects Works 9-to-5 and not a minute more
Attends sessions at conferences Sleeps in the bean-bag area at conferences
Maintains politeness, no matter how many dumb questions they get asked per day Answers queries with arrogant and insolence
Offers suggestions on how to solve problems Critical and unhelpful
Embraces new ideas Fearful of new ideas

So what should you do if a bunch of geek imposters have taken over your IT department?!

First, they need retraining. Send them to a course on cloud computing. Education usually reduces fear.

Second, give them incentive to work longer hours so that projects get finished on time. Be sure to reward staff problem solvers.

Finally, make sure any new IT hires have experience with cloud computing technologies and services. You won't have to fire the geek imposters; they will leave, as they will no longer feel at home in your intelligent and forward-thinking organization.

Jo Maitland is the Senior Executive Editor at Contact her at

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