In our June 8th blog post, Is Cloud Sprawl Ticking Off Your IT Team?, we discussed how departments outside of IT are taking cloud computing budgets and investment decisions into their own hands. Deploying applications in the cloud that haven’t been vetted by IT to ensure the organization’s security and compliance standards are met is becoming commonplace. At the same time, IT leaders are juggling dual roles – managing and maintaining legacy systems while serving as trusted business advisors to key stakeholders. Read on to learn about the shift in cloud computing investments and the factors driving the “New IT.”
As departments shift gears, so do cloud computing investments
Skim through any technology publication or blog and chances are some of the top stories revolve around cloud computing. Whether in marketing, finance or HR, there is a plethora of information available to help turn department heads into “educated novices” about cloud computing. Recent studies show that 71 percent of C-level executives believe that they can make technology decisions better and faster than their IT staff. Faced with cost and competitive pressures, they often bypass IT and invest in cloud applications on their own. It’s no surprise that 37 percent of technology budgets are now controlled by departments other than IT. Yet business leaders’ involvement in cloud computing often ends once their credit card is swiped. They still expect IT to ensure that their latest cloud application is seamlessly and securely integrated with existing technology assets. With more employees choosing to use their own devices including mobile phones, laptops and tablets to do their work-related activities, IT is also tasked with ensuring that BYOD (bring-your-own device) policies are in place and enforced. Maintaining existing systems can consume more than one third of an IT staffer’s work schedule – leaving them with little time to educate themselves on other technologies such as cloud desktops. Consequentially, fewer than 25 percent of executives say IT staff regularly suggests new technology solutions on their own.
IT services brokers consult with departments on cloud computing investments
As technology decisions and investments have shifted, so has the role of IT. While IT still manages the traditional, day-to-day technology operations, business leaders want them to gain additional skills in key areas such as cloud computing and systems integration so that they can serve as trusted business advisors to employees, customers, partners and C-level executives. A new “services broker” model is also emerging as IT staff transition into business advisory roles. In this model, IT staff consults with their non-IT colleagues to understand their business needs and objectives. They then in-source or outsource technology services (often cloud-based) to meet these needs without building solutions from scratch. As more companies adopt services broker models, executives expect IT leaders to exert more influence on technology decisions in the future.
As IT leaders’ influence grows so does the need for cloud computing partners
As IT staff enhances their skills, they find themselves juggling the roles of business advisor and IT operations specialist. In order to balance the demands of supporting legacy systems with the need to solve their organization’s business problems, they must forge new partnerships with outside consultants to provide expertise in cloud migration, systems integration, database administration, security and disaster recovery.
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