Cloud
Commentary
6/23/2010
08:52 PM
John Soat
John Soat
Commentary
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The Role of IT Management In a Cloud Computing Future

Cloud computing won't displace the traditional IT organization, but it will change its mandate and function. IT managers must anticipate, and learn to accommodate, how their roles will evolve.

Cloud computing won't displace the traditional IT organization, but it will change its mandate and function. IT managers must anticipate, and learn to accommodate, how their roles will evolve.

Here are a few of the new roles IT management will assume as cloud computing changes the way organizations approach and employ technology assets: Contributors: Cloud computing will help IT management focus more on business innovation than on infrastructure management. In turn, IT management must learn to judge IT processes in terms of business effectiveness and how they fit in the organization's overall business strategy.

Educators: IT management must become educators on all things cloud related for every level of their organizations. That includes everything from cloud-related standards and practices for individual workers to business-oriented cloud presentations tailored for upper management. The CIO of a large mid-western manufacturing company told me that when board members stop in his office to ask questions about cloud computing he is always happy to accommodate.

Collaborators: As business units assume responsibility for their applications, IT will be called on to advise and work with managers on the most effective business solutions available in the cloud. IT managers have the benefit of the overall technology view, and how the pieces (internal and external) fit into the whole. That's why a comprehensive cloud strategy is important.

Negotiators: IT management must help business unit managers with contract negotiations and service-level agreements (SLAs). Also, IT must vet service providers in terms of security and compliance in order to assure upper management of their viability and dependability.

These implications of cloud computing for the role of IT management are only an acceleration of trends that already are reshaping modern IT organizations.Cloud computing won't displace the traditional IT organization, but it will change its mandate and function. IT managers must anticipate, and learn to accommodate, how their roles will evolve.

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