The cloud is certainly impacting IT’s role in business, as departments grapple with the influx of cloud applications in the enterprise. In a recent post in CIO, Bernard Golden does a nice job articulating how the cloud is changing IT’s role in the enterprise — and how the cloud presents a tremendous opportunity for IT to remake itself into the department every employee will love.
In the article, Golden describes the misconceptions of those who view the cloud and IT as mutually exclusive. He writes:
“In personal interactions, I often hear this sentiment portrayed as, ‘Public cloud computing is fine for the SMB and startup market, but enterprises aren’t ready to move to that model.’ The tone of much of this feedback is that anyone who advocates cloud computing is at best naïve or at worse incapable of understanding the real details of IT.”
From ‘project manager’ to ‘service provider’
Golden pokes holes in this flawed view of both the cloud and IT by referencing a recent post from Jon Peirce, VP of global infrastructure at EMC. Peirce rightly describes old-world IT as a department with a fixed budget that was forced to allocate limited resources – whereby IT’s first instinct was to limit demand. This model worked, of course, until employees learned how to circumvent IT by adopting cloud apps on their own.
The cloud turned the old model on its head. Instead of a department that impedes by limiting access to IT resources, IT can now lead by helping every business segment securely and easily adopt all the cloud applications they require. The rules have changed and there’s an even greater opportunity for IT departments to build goodwill and regain control of their department. They can be the ones who give employees what they want, without ceding the control needed to effectively manage business applications. Who doesn’t want to be that person?