I was pleasantly surprised to see this article “The Cloud CIO: A Tale of Two IT Futures,” appear in CIO Magazine about the tough decisions that the CIO of the future will have to make very soon – to outsource the IT function and streamline (my opinion expressed in this article –“Cloud computing: IT as commodity”); or be the central figure of the company’s IT strategy (as argued by Intel’s CIO, Diane Bryant in this article –(“A former “prissy girl” takes on tech”). It’s a great debate. Here’s a little more of my side…
For IT to reduce costs, we need to start standardizing our services and use a “catalogue approach” for our workloads. Today IT provides highly available, fully redundant capabilities for all workloads even if those workloads don’t require that level of sophistication. This approach is very expensive because we’ve found that only 20% of the workloads produce 80% of the company revenue.
The cloud is forcing the IT Executive to become a “true service provider” and evaluate the level of service for each type of workload, thus saving money on less mission-critical workloads. Deploying a Cloud Service Catalogue will help IT executives force standardization on fewer, but better tested and supported, configurations that can easily be deployed in a Cloud fabric.
Ultimately, an organization’s competitive differentiation will only be enhanced if IT can fund Innovation, and transform workloads that matter most to the business. The silver lining of Cloud is not unlimited capacity from an infrastructure point of view. It is the ability of applications that are delivered in a Cloud vector, to provide speed and agility to the business and make it more competitive.