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How Do Business Pressures and Cloud Disrupt the CIO Role?

If you’re a CIO, there may be sunny days ahead, but that depends on whether or not you can rise above the cloud. As Terence Ngai for CIO writes, the push for greater integration with the business is primarily cloud-driven.

Changing Seasons

Just as one season gives way to the next, the old obsession with software and hardware investments needs to give way to a preoccupation with service relationships. In the move from servers to services, there will need to be strategies that focus on moving up to the cloud in a way that avoids risk. The wisdom of hybrid IT is that it salvages some mission-critical legacy functions while retiring others in favor of pay-as-you go solutions:

This [strategy]disrupts the traditional way the CIO and IT operate. In a hybrid IT model, IT no longer needs to build and operate everything itself; rather, it can use an optimal mix of internal and external services. IT will act as both a broker of external services and a manager of internal IT infrastructure and applications.

Dodging Raindrops

Outsourcing aspects of IT has many advantages. However, as a CIO you are not really off the hook. You will still need to manage a relationship with the service providers and business. And it is your task to devise an IT strategy that will bring the current status up to speed with the latest developments, while ensuring a secure operation that provides performance and quality service to the enterprise.

In the transition to cloud and better business alignment, the CIO must now learn two languages, the language of IT (server utilization or network latency) and the language of business (ROI and faster delivery to market). The CIO must rise to the challenge and proactively offer solutions to the business, or the business will seek those solutions from outside sources.

More than just business alignment, the CIO also needs to spread the message of integration far and wide in their IT unit, since it’s not just the CIO who is in transition to a new cloud-based approach. It’s all of IT that is being disrupted.

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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