Cloud computing

“It’s complicated”: How cloud computing challenges today’s CIO

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I’m a technical advisor to IT teams, and that means at some point most of my conversations include the phrase: “It’s complicated.” This phrase is particularly pertinent when it involves cloud computing.

Cloud is a major topic of conversation in CIO corners these days, and it is discussed as both a potential saving grace and a potential for disaster.

Digital disrupters such as the Internet of Things, social media, cloud and mobility have changed customer expectations, altered the nature of competition and promoted globalization — that’s not news. We talk often about how technology is disrupting traditional approaches to business. But what about technology’s impact on IT organizations?

Many IT leaders today are struggling to manage extraordinarily complex systems, an explosion of data and the demand for security protections that can anticipate threats — whether they are coming from professionals or from bored high school kids. Success depends on being able to react swiftly and take advantage of new technologies that protect, add value and lead to transformation.

How a cloud service provider can help

Enter the cloud service providers.

Cloud service providers offer a broad range of services and benefits such as increased capacity, elasticity, faster response times, lower capital costs, automation, service resiliency and more. As potential solutions to the problems IT teams face, cloud service providers look good. Interestingly, though, no cloud service providers (that I’ve been able to find) suggest that they should take over responsibility and accountability for IT services — and rightfully so.

What’s the CIO’s responsibility?

Responsibility and accountability for your organization’s IT ultimately remain with the CIO and the IT team. Understanding a cloud service provider’s capabilities and conducting due diligence are essential. The CIO must guarantee that between the IT organization and cloud service provider:

  • Business objectives that require IT services can be met
  • Confidentiality of sensitive data is preserved
  • Processes and security are in place to assure data integrity
  • Data is available when and where it is needed
  • Output is reliable and based on a single source of truth
  • Systems are designed and operate as intended

As your company adopts new technology and works with new service providers, it’s critical that your CIO maintains responsibility and accountability for IT.

Cloud due diligence

Cloud computing is becoming ubiquitous, and most likely your company has already embraced some level of cloud. You may even be working with or considering a cloud service provider. In my next post, I’ll discuss eight tips for working with a cloud provider that will help ensure you are getting the best service.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for support with your company’s cloud transformation, the IBM Systems Lab Services Executive Advisory Practice is a group of experienced management consultants who use proven expertise, tools and methodologies to guide clients through their IT infrastructure transformation. We help organizations define their enterprise cloud strategies through a flexible approach that includes reviewing current IT infrastructure and workloads, assessing cloud readiness across multiple IT domains and designing a detailed roadmap to achieve a future hybrid cloud environment.

Reach out to IBM Systems Lab Services today. Email us to learn more.

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