Will Cloud Computing Change the Role of CTOs As We Know It?
With technology advancing at record speed, you may begin to feel like it’s impossible to keep up. From the perspective of the Chief Technology Officer, if you haven’t already, then you should be considering shifting to cloud computing, and when you do, the picture may grow even grimmer, and the prospect of your future career more intimidating.
The relationship between cloud computing and CTOs is unchartered territory for many. As scary as that may be, the reality is actually more forgiving – there is still a major role for you to play within your company as a CTO and cloud computing is actually adding to this. It is not unlike any other industry when faced with technological developments; you always have to keep an eye out for change and move with it, or suffer becoming obsolete. Know your onions about cloud computing and transcend the challenge – and become an indispensable CTO.
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The effect of cloud computing on CTO roles
Cloud computing is here to stay, and the role of CTOs within companies will continue to transition.
An example of how the role of the CTO has been affected by cloud computing is tool choice. In the past, users have been told by their IT departments what business tools and applications to use; the decision often based upon vendor or supplier affiliation. Today, things are different. The cloud has opened up a world of SaaS applications that are quick and easy to commission. Teams within businesses now have more budgetary responsibility and are more empowered to select and source the applications, services and devices they want to use to enhance their productivity, without the need for the CTO to determine what they should use.
Disruptions caused by cloud computing and other technologies
There are other ways in which new technology such as cloud computing and other Information Technology changes have unsettled the dust in company workflows. The core business of the organisation; product or service delivery and customer contact cannot now be seen as stand-alone. They must be tied to technological innovation so that the product or service itself becomes the new and creative form of delivery. The CTO’s role will thus have to include being as active in business development as in product and service development.
Another challenge is to support the business with great IT services for employees and customers; this includes developing faster applications, more responsiveness, flexibility, OS support, and of course more laborious security systems. Failure to do this equates failure to meet the needs and demands of all users and employees, making the CTOs job even more important.
CTO’s challenge: move with the tide or get left behind
Given these challenges, it then goes without saying that both CTOs and information technology leaders must adjust their perception on their roles and adapt to the new order, lest they end up with mediocre responsibilities.
CTOs have to be innovative and strategic – thinking up new ways and ideas on how to grow the business. This may include staying up-to-date with the cloud computing market; what is available out there and what is advantageous for the company. On the other hand, CTOs could come up with even better services and systems that will keep them ahead of the competition and in line with user needs.
Change is inevitable – embrace cloud computing
As a CTO it is critical that you acknowledge that businesses do not operate in a vacuum. They are subject to external factors and changes. Cloud computing should be seen as posing a challenge, not a threat, unless you are planning on swimming against the waves trying to defy change.
At this point, it is important to realise that cloud computing and IT are merely driving you to think more innovatively and broaden the spectrum of your role as a leader. Your business will need you to broaden your skills and set the tone for innovation. You should lead and inspire your developers and IT Operations staff to build solutions, systems, services and security using cloud computing to add value to your organisation. And you should be able to recognise the opportunities and potential that cloud services offer, as they arise, and bring new ideas to the table for digital transformation to improve processes and systems, and add value to your organisation.
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