IT’s Hard Pill to Swallow

In recent weeks, folks have suggested that cloud computing will cause the demise of the IT department. From an apocalyptical viewpoint, one could see this future. Others take a perspective of denial. The truth lies somewhere between…and unfortunately trending negative. But that can change…and quickly.

From the perspective of the business leader, IT’s role has diminished towards providing minimal support as compared with the potential that an IT organization can provide. We only need to point to business perspectives to validate this: IT as a cost center, the IT quest for business alignment, and IT’s illusive seat at the table. This is not news.

Of late, cloud computing has become a lightning rod for blame. However, clouds are not to blame…at least not for this lightning. The damage occurred over years (and decades); long before cloud computing. Cloud computing is simply accelerating the process.

Our industry has crossed an important threshold that never existed in the past. Previously, business units had to work with IT organizations even if they resisted in doing so. Managing technology was simply too cumbersome for individual business units to manage.

Cloud computing changes the game. Business units may now sign up for services without the involvement of their IT colleagues. And they are doing just that…today! This may appear as a benefit to business units to increase responsiveness and flexibility. However, there are hidden dangers lurking.

IT professionals understand those risks in spades. But the added complexity is seen as just another task on the already overflowing plate of responsibilities. We (as IT professionals) need to embrace cloud computing and find ways to leverage it to the fullest while mitigating the risks that lurk.

In doing so, we can circumvent the need for business units to sign up for services themselves by becoming increasingly responsive and flexible. Over time, this will improve the culture and relationship between IT and the business units…and serve to solve new, more important challenges.

Tim Crawford is ranked as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Chief Information Technology Officers (#4), Top 100 Most Social CIOs (#7), Top 20 People Most Retweeted by IT Leaders (#5) and Top 100 Cloud Experts and Influencers. Tim is a strategic CIO & advisor that works with large global enterprise organizations across a number of industries including financial services, healthcare, major airlines and high-tech. Tim’s work differentiates and catapults organizations in transformative ways through the use of technology as a strategic lever. Tim takes a provocative, but pragmatic approach to the intersection of business and technology. Tim is an internationally renowned CIO thought leader including Digital Transformation, Cloud Computing, Data Analytics and Internet of Things (IoT). Tim has served as CIO and other senior IT roles with global organizations such as Konica Minolta/ All Covered, Stanford University, Knight-Ridder, Philips Electronics and National Semiconductor. Tim is also the host of the CIO In The Know (CIOitk) podcast. CIOitk is a weekly podcast that interviews CIOs on the top issues facing CIOs today. Tim holds an MBA in International Business with Honors from Golden Gate University Ageno School of Business and a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from Golden Gate University.

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