How Cloud Computing Could Change the Role of the CIO

Cloud computing is at the top of conference agendas and a common buzz word online, so it should come as no surprise that it is also on the minds of many IT executives. And as more and more enterprise IT departments move to the cloud, many are beginning to wonder how this will affect the traditional role of the CIO.

The role of the CIO will change if the IT department shifts from a service provider to a utility model, with usage-based metering. This will result in a shift in core tasks from developing applications and user interfaces and result in a new set of tasks involving the definition of service-level agreements, selecting cloud management tools and understanding customer service. The role of the CIO could shift to become more like an independent business manager running a public service.

The CIO used to be involved in strategic technology planning for the organization and was likely making strategic decisions, such as when to upgrade Microsoft Office and Windows and which strategic vendor to use for hardware. But this changes when an organization implements a cloud architecture, as new tasks and skills come into play. Some of the traditional roles of the CIO remain, while the CIO is also required to play a new role as a cloud manager. This requires providing the tools and computing power to meet the changing needs of users in a quicker, more efficient manner. This may also include setting up a private cloud, in which users have access to consistent, repeatable services from a services portal available via standard Internet protocols.

Earlier this year, an InformationWeek article revealed that a survey of IT executives found that, when stating the top reasons for moving to cloud computing, cutting costs was nearly just as important to respondents as faster response to end users. The same survey found that although 58 percent of respondents were making the move to the cloud, most were taking a slow approach to do so.

The Future Lies in the Cloud
With that said, a Mashable post citing a different cloud computing survey predicts that by 2011, a vast majority of computing will take place in the cloud. Although this survey seemed to focus more on the consumer side of things, most IT executives see a future in the cloud. The CIO job will adapt and change as this transition occurs, and will function more as a logistical manager.

As cloud services move outside the firewall, understanding how the vendor is providing the services your company needs will become increasingly important. As will understanding that your company’s information is safe and secure wherever it is stored.

To learn more about the cloud, and how it can help your organization, contact Nubifer today.

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