Fifth annual State of the Cloud Survey 2016 conducted by RightScale, the cloud solution provider, establishes the fact that approximately 90 percent of businesses are using the cloud1 in some or the other fashion, so it won’t be wrong to say that the cloud technology has become a mainstay in the IT industry.
The adoption of cloud is not only an IT issue, but it is an ongoing journey of transformation. It’s ability to provide the required IT resources-computing, storage, network connectivity or secured services has radically changed the working of organizations-development, deployment, and management of enterprise applications.
Cloud has drastically changed the role of CIO (Chief information officer) – the technology caretaker. Earlier his main aim was to oversee and maintain software and hardware with the help of different technologies working together and support business requirements.
Previously, he was less likely to be aligned with the main business strategy and drive development and success, but today he has to implement security measures, manage budgets, plan policies, whilst taking care of IT services. Thus with the cloud adoption, he has evolved from a mere IT gatekeeper to strategic thinking business leader. He is progressing into the boardroom, finding himself at the decision-making table with other C-Executives.Today’s CIOs aim at:
Enabling a more responsive organization
Staying relevant in the digital world of business transformation
Providing enhanced customer experiences
Building a big data-driven business
Modernizing sales and marketing
Improving agility and optimizing business operations
Driving product and process innovation
Here are the top changes in the role of CIOs with the increasing digitization:
- Innovator, director and controller of business
Being an innovator is not just about solving problems, but to think fresh and leverage new technologies before anyone else does. Even more significant fact is that businesses lag behind, if they implement their business strategies late than their competitors. So a CIO, as atechnical head needs a ‘lever’ to speed up the development process and beat the competition in the race.
The adoption of managed cloud solutions has elevated the CIOs to the stature of the Chief innovation officer, who is responsible for defining new technological requirements, identifying and maintaining organizational strategies, developing business models and communicating them to the key business stakeholders, simultaneously.
Cloud’s agility gives CIO the access to important business insights with which they are able to identify emerging new market places or opportunities, analyze trends and market disruptions, schedule updates in a way that minimizes disruption and support the creation and delivery of brand new products and services and more.
Thus, cloud technology helps a CIO to manage the innovation process from within the organization-fully utilize data for business strategy and deliver overall business value -a game changing ability of Chief Innovation Officer.
- Manager of financial risks of the organization
CFO, the key player in the organization is responsible for financial planning, budget management, cost-benefit analysis, forecasting needs and analysis of data.
Cloud adoption has helped CIO to get inside the mind of CFO and compete on a higher level playing field. As a financial gatekeeper of the company, he no longer needs to make expensive IT infrastructure additions like servers and storage that too, on depreciation cycles, as cloud alleviates that overhead- including costs like hardware maintenance, recurring hardware replacement and management. Thus instead of having to spend on the big order of storage, he can expand his Cloud storage, knocking a zero off, when he plans business expansion.
Cloud technology, enables CIO to simply pay for what they use. This transformation from upfront costs to metered costs offers increased budget flexibility via management of more variable costs. Moreover, cloud lowers risks in investments and thus CIO leverages the Cloud for obtaining further cost efficiencies.
- Facilitator of growth, sales and marketing
In the organization, a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) plans, develops and executes an organization’s marketing and advertising initiatives.
With cloud adoption, CIO becomes the captain of marketing who armed with cloud digital strategies like predictive analytics and power BI identifies 360-degree view of the customers, understand their unique needs and figure out the best ways to facilitate flexible and speedy delivery of required solutions to the market.
In a world, where the 9-5 work day is disappearing, marketers should have the ability to connect and collaborate from anywhere, any time.With cloud-based business productivity tools (Office 365)- business email, online meetings, online file sharing, it becomes easy for CIO to create a flexible environment where each person on the team can collaborate on important initiatives and thus, streamline marketing campaigns’ management efficiently.
- Ensurer of privacy, security and compliance
Keeping network safe, while protecting organizational and customers’ data, is paramount for any organization. The Chief Information Security Officer in any company constantly looks for ways to improve security posture, through new technologies that accelerate ability to protect, detect and respond to cyber incidents. With managed cloud adoption, CIO can deliver a holistic, agile and secure platform.
He can easily get real-time insights and predictive intelligence and be a step ahead of the threats. For e.g. advanced security alerts notify Office 365 admins of suspicious activity in the service so that they can take action timely.
Microsoft Azure cloud, Office 365 and Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) work with each other to prevent the loss of corporate data, password related attacks and respond to the malware installation on your machine/ in your environment.
- Master of digital transformation
“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate a vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.” Jack Welch, Former CEO, GE.
CEO-the in charge of managing an organization, takes all the decisions regarding the upliftment of the entity including all the departments and fields of the business-operations, marketing, business development, finance, human resources, security etc. He is the ‘one’ who plays the role of an innovator, a leader, a marketer and the executor.
With Cloud as a catalyst, CIO becomes an expert in handling complex budgets, financial risks, security concerns, staff and assets. These attributes along with deep understanding of the technology, gives him a solid ground to attain the role of chief executive officer of the company.
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