Are you Nephophobic? Overcome your fear of the Cloud



FearOfCloud.jpgWhile helping his daughter with her Ancient Greek, James Marland was reminded that it’s easy to construct plausible English words out of Greek stems. One of the broadest sets of such words is lists of ‘phobias’: fears that range from the well-known claustrophobia and xenophobia to the unlikely Koumpounophobia (fear of buttons). After looking up the Greek for “cloud” he came up with the word Nephophobia.

Nephophobia (n): fear of clouds, in this month's SmartProcurement.

Many supply chains are afraid of the cloud. Marland thought it might be useful to look at the clinical diagnoses and suggested treatments for phobias to see if they may provide treatment for companies afraid of moving to the cloud. They seem to fall into several groups.


Medical phobias such as fear of flying can be overcome by learning about aeroplanes and how flight works. In order to reduce your fear of clouds, you can similarly educate yourself on cloud technologies and standards. Once you understand more about the way the cloud can reduce your costs and improve access to innovation, you are well on the way to learning to love it.

Attending a self-help group

Self-help groups allow phobia sufferers to meet similar people and are great to talk about challenges overcome and what works and what doesn’t work. For cloud sufferers, meet with your suppliers and buyers to learn how they are using the cloud: specifically how they would like to use the cloud to connect with you. Your customers and suppliers are likely initiating projects to make doing business with them easier and cheaper. For example, find out if your Accounts Receivable teams are being asked to send invoices electronically over the cloud. If so, you can take this initiative to the next building to Accounts Payable, and start to reap the benefits of e-Invoicing yourself.

Exposure therapy

Phobias such as fear of snakes can be overcome by exposing yourself to non-poisonous varieties under controlled conditions, and then you see that the phobia has no physiological basis. For cloud sufferers, this means that getting started can be the best way of getting comfortable with the whole idea. What is the equivalent of the “safe snakes” for phobia sufferers? Taking your existing business flows of buying and selling (orders and invoices) and running them over a Network has the least disruption, but still has significant benefit. Once you have beaten the phobia, you can expand into Supply Chain, HR and others.


Marland doesn’t recommend this last treatment plan as a long-term strategy. Cloud is coming, and if you refuse to overcome your fears by continuing to ignore it, you will find that you are cutting yourself off from the latest innovations, and your inability to communicate electronically with your business partners will increasingly affect your bottom line.

James Marland is Vice President of Network Strategy at Ariba, an SAP Company.

Leave a comment

SmartProcurement Newsletter

Please enter your details below to receive the SmartProcurement Newsletter for FREE on a regular basis.

As part of the SmartProcurement Newsletter you will be receiving World Class Procurement News, Tools, Tips, Tactics, Procurement Training updates, Upcoming Events, and the latest Procurement Career Openings.

* Email Address:
* Title:
* First Name:
* Surname:
* Company:
* Country:
* Public / Private:


Career opportunites

Demand Planning Manager

  • <500 000 Gauteng Operations, Planning & Inventory Projects / Category Management
(Total Cost to Company R750k - R900K) excluding ...More

Global Category Manager: CONTRACTS

  • <500 000 Buyer Commodities Contract Gauteng
Total Cost to Company R1mil - R1.2mil excluding

Project Manager :12-18 MONTH CONTRACT

  • <500 000 Contract Procurement Officer / Specialist Projects / Category Management
Description:A well-known retail organization is looking for an ...More

Procurement Analyst

  • <500 000 Analyst Gauteng Permanent Procurement Management
Description:A leading infrastructure development group with strong presence ...More

Commodity Manager: Fuels and Lubes

  • <500 000 Commodities Gauteng Permanent Strategic Sourcing
Description:Ensuring continuity of supply in line with business ...More

Senior Facilities Manager

  • <500 000 Gauteng Operations, Planning & Inventory Permanent Projects / Category Management
(Total Cost to Company R800K - R900K) Description: ...More

Supply Chain Analyst

  • <500 000 Analyst Permanent Supply Chain Western Cape
(Total Cost to Company R350K - R550K) SOUTHERN ...More

Demand Planner

  • <500 000 Gauteng Operations, Planning & Inventory Permanent Supply Chain
(Total Cost to Company R450k - R550k, dependent ...More

Procurement Specialis

  • <500 000 Gauteng Permanent Procurement Management Procurement Officer / Specialist
(Total Cost to Company R700k - R800k including ...More

Solutions Architect

  • <500 000 Analyst Gauteng Operations, Planning & Inventory Permanent
(Total Cost to Company R1.3Mil - R1.1Mil including ...More

Engineering Manager

  • Gauteng Industrial Engineer Permanent Procurement Management
Total Cost to Company R850k - R950K including ...More

Country Head of Procurement

  • Permanent Procurement Management Procurement Officer / Specialist CBS Procurement,Hub Head of Procurement To lead, ...More

Demand Planner

  • <500 000 Gauteng Operations, Planning & Inventory Permanent Projects / Category Management!Gauteng/Planning/Demand%20Planner/TP2005490/MSe Category: PlanningPosition Title: Demand PlannerSalary: R600 000 ...More

Head of Procurement

  • <500 000 Gauteng Permanent Procurement Management Procurement Officer / Specialist!Gauteng/Procurement/Head%20of%20Procurement/TP2005488/ZBuCategory: ProcurementPosition Title: Head of ProcurementSalary: R1.3 million ...More

Warehouse and Distribution Manager

  • <500 000 Gauteng Logistics & Warehousing Permanent Supply Chain!Gauteng/Logistics/Warehouse%20Distribution%20Manager/TP2005455/TMa Category: Supply ChainPosition Title: Warehouse and Distribution ...More

Supply Chain Manager

  • <500 000 Mpumalanga Permanent Procurement Officer / Specialist Supply Chain!Mpumalanga/Supply%20Chain/Supply%20Chain%20Manager/TP2005448/LMa Category: Supply ChainPosition Title: Supply Chain Manager ...More

Industrial Engineer

  • <500 000 Gauteng Industrial Engineer Operations, Planning & Inventory Permanent!Gauteng/Consulting/Continuous%20Improvement%20Manager/TP2005489/SNh Category: ConsultingPosition Title: Industrial EngineerSalary: R900 000 ...More

Operations Manager

  • >500 000 Gauteng Operations, Planning & Inventory Permanent Supply Chain
Our client within the FMCG industry with a ...More

Warehouse and Distribution Manager

  • >500 000 Gauteng Logistics & Warehousing Operations, Planning & Inventory Permanent
An exciting opportunity awaits for a Warehouse and ...More

Demand Planner

  • <500 000 Permanent
Get an opportunity to be part of one ...More