CIOs Debate “Cockroach Technology”

cockroachCloud computing software vendors have complicated the jobs of CIOs by selling their software directly to business users rather than through traditional channels. This was a topic of discussion at a recent panel at the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium, which Michael Hicks writes about for the Wall Street Journal. Usually, when users go to the cloud to satisfy their needs, it is the result of IT being unable or too slow to meet user requirements. The trend of users operating amongst themselves to solve technical problems is called “shadow IT,” and it can be the bane of a CIO’s existence. When users attempt to solve their own problems and then IT introduces an official solution, it creates problems of duplicated services and information. As cloud vendors targeting users increases and proliferates, it becomes what one CIO refers to as “cockroach technology.” Another CIO disagreed, however, saying that complexity has always been part of the job description for CIOs, and cloud vendors are just another expected complication. There is no sure fix for handling shadow IT or cockroach technology. As always, it seems eternal vigilance is the only long-term solution.

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