By Rick Blaisdell
I wrote an article about the future of the internal IT department in a cloud-dominated world called “Who’s Afraid of the Cloud?” I wrote that, in the future, the role of enterprise IT will become more complex and more business oriented.
That article was applicable to the post-cloud adoption environment. But, I believe that it also applies to the transition process itself. It is clear that the IT department needs to play a leading role, and even instigate the change, to prepare itself for its more complex role to come. Although moving to the cloud needs to be a business decision, as I wrote earlier, the IT department has a few key questions to answer:
1. What are the full services the IT department provides for the business?
It is important here that the answer coming from the IT is not “we manage 20 servers,” but “we provide this for the business.
2. Is the importance of each of the services provided to the business critical? Is it a support service? Or is it something that directly impacts its bottom line?
Here, the answers from the IT department have to be carefully reviewed and the priorities and needs reassessed and agreed upon. Following these reviews, a list of what services can and should be migrated to the cloud can be made.
3. How do we deliver these services? Do our technical capabilities and abilities deliver the best possible support? Would we need extra investment and new people in order to deliver a better service?
In most cases, the answers to these issues is probably yes. But here, the IT department needs to also analyze the alternative — what could the cloud do? And at this point, I believe external cloud computing transition specialists could be consulted, to add an impartial view.
Once the decisions concerning the degree of transition to the cloud are made and it’s been decided what services should or should not be migrated, the actual process of implementation is a new challenge for the IT department. Now, the department needs to honestly answer this question: Can we handle it ourselves, or do we need extra help? Maybe some additional contractors, or even a specialized firm, needs to be called in. But it is important to have a clear and honest evaluation in order to identify requirements.
What I believe it is important to remember is that, ultimately, business needs drive the change. And, as usual, the IT department’s role is to support the business. And migrating to the cloud is a major decision, for both IT and business as a whole, so they need to work together.
Rick Blaisdell is an accomplished technical and business leader and a pioneer in the cloud computing field and in delivering the next generation of business technology. Focused on results, he has implemented revolutionary solutions to cut costs and improve efficiency. He is a creative thinker and visionary in the area of cloud computing. You can read more about him on his personal website, www.rickscloud.com, or e-mail him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally published: Mar 6, 2012