IT Innovators: In the Cloud Era Your Role as CIO is Changing; Are You Prepared?

According to Gartner, by 2018, roughly half of the world’s enterprises would have implemented some type of hybrid cloud. That’s a sizable number, and it promises to bring big change to the enterprise. It also promises to change the role of the Chief Information Officers (CIOs) charged with overseeing the IT and computer systems supporting the enterprise’s goals.

Traditionally, IT managers and architects have been exclusively responsible for decisions regarding which IT solutions to procure. More and more; however, when it comes to the cloud, that role is falling to the CIO who is quickly becoming the primary decision-maker in researching and buying cloud solutions.

One reason for this change might be that CIOs increasingly view the hybrid cloud as a strategic asset—one that will affect their future competitiveness and business goals—and not just as a tool for improving operational efficiency. And if that’s true, it makes perfect sense that the decision about whether or not to migrate to a hybrid cloud be driven by someone higher up the food chain.

While the fact that the hybrid cloud is being considered a strategic asset is great news for hybrid cloud solution providers, it also puts more pressure on CIOs to understand the “ins and outs” of the hybrid cloud. Here’s a great article to help get you started.

CIOs also need help with planning the best way to use and implement the cloud. If you happen to be a CIO in this predicament, here’s a great resource to help get you started. Once you narrow down your equipment and solution options, here’s a list of things to consider before making any procurement decision:

  • Will the solution help your organization cut cost, better utilize resources or be more agile?
  • Is the solution flexible?
  • Is the solution secure?
  • Will it help your organization achieve some competitive advantage, focus on core issues or improve customer experience?
  • Is it in line with your current business needs? Does it give you the ability to expand as and when you are ready?
  • Does the solution align with the strategies and initiatives of the rest of your organization’s IT team?
  • Does the solution meet your compliance policies?
  • Does it lock you into a particular cloud service and provider? If so, are you okay with that?
  • Does the solution provider offer any form of education or training to help bring your staff up to speed quickly on the new technologies?
  • And finally, are you making this decision based on price alone? If so, stop and reconsider. Make sure you have adequately evaluated all of the solution’s features and whether or not it is a best-fit for your organization.

If you have any tips for CIOs contemplating a migration to the hybrid cloud, drop me a line at [email protected]. And don’t forget to check back here each week for more information on the hybrid cloud and other important IT-related topics.

This blog is sponsored by Microsoft.

Cheryl J. Ajluni is a freelance writer and editor based in California. She is the former Editor-in-Chief of Wireless Systems Design and served as the EDA/Advanced Technology editor for Electronic Design for over 10 years. She is also a published book author and patented engineer. Her work regularly appears in print and online publications. Contact her at [email protected] with your comments or story ideas.

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