The cloud presents one of the biggest industry disruptions in years. And while you may be sick of talking about it, CIOs need to get their heads in the cloud in order to help their company safely and successfully navigate the journey.\nThe cloud is a great equalizer. The trick is that not all companies are startups; few enterprises can simply move everything into a cloud system without concern for security or privacy. But the reality is, sooner or later, we will all be in a situation with one foot in both private and public cloud. Hybrid cloud is the new reality.\nSo the primary question for a CIO becomes, how do you help transition to this hybrid cloud world?\nThe most common concerns I hear from customers are:\n\n\u201cI\u2019m struggling to make my private clouds easy and innovation-friendly for the business.\u201d\n\u201cI\u2019m not confident that all the public clouds I\u2019m already using are enterprise-ready.\u201d\n\u201cI need to find a way to manage all of those clouds in a holistic way, so I\u2019m not surprised by costs, security challenges, or other unexpected outcomes.\u201d\n\nExecuting a successful integration among the various cloud platforms begins with having the right people. Cloud capabilities are not merely a push toward automation; with tech permeating almost all points in our daily schedules, IT departments are now charged with delivering positive user experiences.\nCloud offers a growth and learning opportunity for all. The most effective teams will comprise people who embrace the business as a whole, rather than attempting to delegate strategy, and lead by example. Yet at the same time, IT must keep focus on operations. Systems still need to work \u2013 regardless of where they\u2019re based.\nInstead of constantly questioning \u201cwhy\u201d a cloud strategy is necessary, today\u2019s IT teams need to embrace, \u201cWhy not?\u201d along with a willingness to take some risks is inherent with greater understanding of the technical workings of the cloud.\nConsider implementing an employee-first approach.\nAt VMware, we pushed for IT alignment and collaboration with Research and Development. This enables an approach for increased accountability and responsibility\u00a0\u2013 as key programs and products undergo a test-drive before being released to third-party customers. When employees are the first consumers of new products or upgrades of existing products, they can provide feedback and report bugs, with a goal of improving the end-customer\u2019s user experience.\nUltimately, IT, software, and applications are being infused into every aspect of business, which can make complexity appear invisible. In today\u2019s hybrid cloud world, enterprises need both choice and control in the cloud.