Five Tips to Help CIOs Prepare for the Cloud

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

As a CIO, cloud-based platforms can help you focus more on strategy, accelerate business value for your enterprise, and free you from some of the constraints of data management. Arne Josefsberg, CTO of ServiceNow provided some important insights in a recent article on by Louis Columbus. The following five tips can help you reap those rewards from the cloud, while at the same time mitigating the risks of not being prepared, for example, how the rise of “Shadow IT” – when business units, in order to solve business problems that aren’t being addressed by internal IT departments, employ their own cloud initiatives outside the knowledge and supervision of the internal IT department – can sabotage even the most savvy CIO.

CIO prepare for the cloud

Conduct an internal audit of IT
In order to prepare your operations team to fully take advantage of the cloud’s rapid deployment abilities, you first need to assess your current infrastructure to determine who’s already doing what. You can then use the results of that assessment to tailor education and training for your team to get them up-to-speed on the latest cloud systems.

Expect an HR shift within IT
CIOs should be aware that within the next five years, their HR management needs will not be limited to IT professionals exclusively, but rather to IT professionals who possess strategic business skills. CIOs will need to recruit and manage IT professionals who can streamline transformational app development and serve as trusted consultants within business unit operations.

Anticipate strategic enterprise needs and meet them ahead of time
CIOs have the opportunity to harness the power of rapid application development and cloud data architecture to meet an enterprise’s strategic needs in advance. For example – by delivering completed apps under budget and ahead of schedule.

Recognize the business value of cloud architectures and convey that value to your enterprise
CIOs can amplify their voice in an enterprise’s strategic planning ventures by recognizing and clearly communicating the value of cloud-based initiatives, while simultaneously engaging in rapid application development. Advantages such as time-and-cost savings and time-to-market should be explained and clarified to enterprise executives so that they better understand the benefits of the cloud.

Align IT management with company’s competitive initiatives
Traditionally, CIOs have been concerned with cost and efficiency management first and foremost. Cloud architectures open up the possibility to instead think of opportunity-to-cost and allow CIOs to collaborate closely with business leaders in advancing the enterprise’s competitive edge. Minimizing the risks while maxing out on the rewards of cloud-based platforms is an imperative, but certainly not impossible. And, by anticipating, planning, and preparing for the cloud, CIOs can free their time to focus on other, more important, pursuits.

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