Overcoming Fear of the Cloud



Fear.  It stops us in our tracks.  It holds us back.  It confines us to the box.  It keeps us safe.   In NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) fear is referred to as False Evidence Appearing Real.  I’ve heard of another acronym for fear.  This one is from Andy Murphy, an NLP master.  You can read about him here:  http://mindsetbydesign.co/about-mindset-by-design.  His definition of FEAR is False Emotions Appearing Real.  When you’re afraid of something, the actual event hasn’t happened yet.  So it’s not an event or thing that you’re afraid of, it’s your belief about what WILL happen that’s creating this fear.   A belief is not real.  It’s something that gets created in the mind.  What are the mechanics of fear?  How does it work under the hood?  There is a part of your brain called the amygdala.  It’s purpose is to keep you safe.

Shannon Cutts, in her blog post, Yes Your Survival Instinct is Stronger Than You Are, discusses a book by Theodore George, M.D.  called Untangling the Mind: Why We Behave the Way We Do.  Shannon discusses the survival instinct and whether or not you can turn it off, circumvent it, or somehow fail to come pre-installed with it? And if it does somehow get turned off or goes missing, can it be reactivated or reinstalled later on?

She writes as follows:  ” According to Darwin, it is not possible to circumvent the survival instinct. Also, everyone has it – so no worries about some beings not getting one when they first arrive.

In the book, Dr. George describes an experiment where Darwin went to the London Zoo and went into the snake exhibit. He selected a particularly poisonous specimen (puff adder in case you are wondering) and put his face up very close to the snake’s clear glass-encased enclosure. Then he proceeded to annoy the snake to the point where it would strike at him.

Darwin knew the thick glass stood in between him and the puff adder. He also knew no way could the snake bust through it to bite him in the face. But when the snake finally struck, Darwin jumped back so fast he literally didn’t have time to consider otherwise.

Dr. George explains why: Darwin reacted as he did because there are two pathways in the brain – the pathway to the amygdala, which is the central “threat processing unit” for the brain, and the pathway to the cortex, which is the central “thought processing unit” for the brain.

Simply put, the amygdala is faster. Much faster. The amygdala can bypass thought (if there is any) and it doesn’t need thought to initiate a decision to act.

The amygdala has kept us safe throughout the ages.  Think of the caveman days.  If you stepped outside your cave, you may get eaten by a saber toothed tiger.  Anything familiar feels safe, anything new is dangerous.


Now that we’ve gone through the science of fear, what does it have to do with Cloud Communications?  Those terms are so far apart on the evolutionary scale, that the only way to use both terms in one sentence is to imagine Fred Flinstone with a cloud based phone!  On a more serious note, deploying a cloud based communications solution involves change.  Remember what was written in the previous paragraph?  Anything familiar feels safe, anything new is dangerous.  As soon as change is introduced into a routine, the amygdala picks up that stimulus first, before the brain can even process thought.  All of a sudden, warning bells go off.  Red alert!  Danger!  How will this solution affect my business?  What happens if it fails?  I will loose my business!  I will loose my job!  I will loose my reputation!  etc.  Fortunately, there is a way to deploy cloud based solutions so that even a caveman will consider it to be safe.

My favorite way to deploy any kind of disruptive solution is to employ a process called staging.  According to Wikipedia, “Staging, in cloud communications, is a processes used to assemble, test, and review a new solution before it is moved into production and the existing solution is decommissioned.”  (I actually published this definition to Wikipedia on 6/30/16).  The basic idea is as follows.  Don’t remove the old system until the new system has been fully tested in production.  Those last 2 words, in production, is key.  It’s easy to test a solution in a controlled environment.  However, what happens when you throw it into the fire?  Will it perform, or fold?  This is the fear that’s stopping the Business Owner, CFO or IT Manager from moving forward with this new solution.  You see, the business owner is concerned about one thing, and one thing only:  his business.  If your new communication solution fails, his business gets hurt.

My recommendation is to install the new phones in parallel to the existing ones.  Once everything is installed, start using the new phones as much as possible.  This will build confidence in the new system, while affording you the luxury of time to iron out any kinks with the new system, in a calm and relaxed manner.  Once a predetermined level of confidence has been reached, you can then forward your main number to the new cloud based service.  After another predetermined level of confidence has been reached, you can then port your main number to the new service and decommission your old communication solution.

Going about an implementation in this manner, has a twofold benefit.  It benefits the customer as it removes their fears, and it benefits the vendor as they don’t have to scramble when all hell breaks loose!  As a vendor, I can certainly appreciate doing things in a calm, controlled, and a relaxed manner.


A little bit about myself.  I am a telecommunications consultant and I am passionate about telephony.  I am focused on one thing, and one thing only.  Helping YOU get the most value out of your communications flow.  Not equipment, not infrastructure, but flow.  As a business owner, what matters the most to you is how your business is flowing.  I help customers like you optimize their communications environment so that communication is truly flowing.  To find out more about the services I offer, feel free to visit my website at http://www.simiplex.com.




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