27 July 2017

The CIO’s Role in Cloud Computing

 

With the advent of Cloud computing, you are probably aware that the IT arena has gone through dramatic changes in recent years. In fact, you have probably experienced and even been affected by this change. From being the go-to guy for everything hardware and software-related in the company, to being stuck between a seemingly shifting job description (and the demanding need to have cloud experience), your job as CIO has been a trying one.

It can be agreed that thanks to the much-documented function of cloud computing and its integration with IT, we are all aware that CIOs and the entire C-suite are facing a new challenge. But exactly how is cloud computing posing this challenge? What is the nature of this so-called ‘disruption’, and how the CIO’s role in cloud computing changing? Is all hope lost or is there a lifeline somewhere? Let’s explore.

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A more complex task at hand

There may be a lot of changes happening in your work as CIO, but what remains is the need to ensure that cloud migration is seamless, there are cloud backups, all systems function with as little points of failure as possible, and that control/risk measures are adequate. The problem? This has become significantly more complicated than before, especially with multi-sourced cloud computing. It is now more difficult for CIOs to ensure that software providers comply with cloud computing regulations and requirements, especially since there are now many of them.

Similarly, given that developers release new technology, new fixes and updates, managing quality and keeping employees unfazed by the constant changes can get tricky. CIOs are faced with the challenge of devising more effective testing and monitoring measures. Make it your goal to help your company find its footing in this regard, and you will steadily find your footing in your ‘new’ job.

Changes in the different roles of a CIO

A CIO may play the role of a leader, manager, and an entrepreneur within the company. The significance of each of these roles has been put under the spotlight by cloud computing. In the wake of trying to keep businesses afloat; dealing with rapid technology changes and the resulting consumerized IT environment, some CIO roles may be seen as less needed than others in a company, forcing the CIO to either play one or the other. Other roles have even branched off from the CIO, that is, the CTO and CSO roles.

(image source)

However, according to Cloud Tech, research suggests that the ‘managerial’ role of a CIO is more applicable in IT in the cloud era. It attests this to the fact that cloud management requires an approach that prioritises cost effectiveness and efficiency, which is what a manager does. However, it goes on to state that CIO leaders and CIO entrepreneurs are still relevant because the cloud system calls for innovativeness – to come up with new business models that suit the new order of things for instance.

The CMO, CTO, and CSO roles are also affected. Chief Marketing Officers now have to become more technology savvy; engaging with customers even more through new software and platforms. Technology and Security Officers’ roles are now gravitating towards change management than running systems and security measures.

Changing role of CIO: The communication structure

Most companies have been operating with a top-down communication and management structure. All commands and systems came from the C-suite, for example, and had to be accepted by the guys working below them. Today’s world does not accommodate this culture, not when employees and clients alike can log on to some site, do research, get feedback, share and influence one another, leaving the CIO and the rest of the C-suite vulnerable.

Instead, the presence of Cloud Computing and social media now foster a more cooperative way of doing things, and this how the C-suite can regain and maintain its relevance. As an IT personnel, you will need to be more accommodating of employees’ needs and suggestions, communicate changes and new implementations in a way that involves them, and build a team spirit in the company.

We understand that change can bring with it insurmountable anxiety and low confidence, especially when you lack the experience needed to weather the storm. However, we believe change to be an opportunity to grow into a versatile leader and your business to evolve, and we are ready to see you through the transition.

Learn more about the benefits of adopting a cloud-first approach in our ebook – download it here. For more information on our cloud offering, please visit our services page.

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