Welcome!

Open Source Cloud Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Zakia Bouachraoui

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Open Source Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, Cloud Security, @DXWorldExpo, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Article

Open Clouds Require Open CIOs

A cloud is only as good as the organization that surrounds it

Everyone has an argument for the ideal technological approach to cloud computing: public vs. private (vs. hybrid), open vs. closed, vertical vs. horizontal, etc. Larry Ellison's thoughts on the proprietary cloud aside, an open cloud environment is inevitable. Companies will have a variety of tools and technologies working together to comprise the future cloud landscape.

But, to be successful, a company using cloud technologies requires an open organization where the IT department and line of business embrace each other as partners in the venture. Therefore an investment in cloud computing, more than previous technology shifts, requires an investment in the IT department's people and processes.

Why? Because the primary benefit of cloud computing is that it provides an organization with the tools to respond rapidly to the changing needs of the business and its customers. For instance, self-service and other cloud capabilities can give the line of business more control over the computing resources they use and access to them when they need them with little to no interaction with IT. The loss of control and potential compliance risk inherent in this model can be scary to IT departments. However, rather than ignoring these challenges and hoping they will go away, the "open" CIO should embrace cloud computing as an opportunity to open up siloed IT departments and engage the business units to help drive their success.

Implementing organizational change is a more gradual and time-consuming shift when compared to purchasing and rolling out a cloud technology. CIOs need to recognize that regardless of what type of cloud is being deployed, the ultimate return on investment hinges on their ability to work with fellow executives across the company, while also leading the evolution of the IT department to better integrate with the business. This takes time. Therefore when CIOs make the decision to move into the cloud they should immediately begin aligning their management style, as well as the culture and processes, of their organizations to achieve the business agility cloud promises, while continuing to protect against risks.

There are a few small steps that a CIO can take to open up their organizations.

Management Style
CIOs should begin this evolution by leading by example. An open organization involves a more inclusive and outgoing approach to behavior as a manager and communicator. With the introduction of cloud solutions, CIOs can no longer be the heads of their respective departments without establishing a leadership position for others within the organization. In order to integrate into this new business/IT environment, the IT department should be more like politicians than islands, more collaborators than the sole representatives of technology.

When additional stakeholders are involved in technological decisions, some believe that it results in a concession of power and control. However, while more viewpoints are added, the CIO has the opportunity to play a central role in leading the organization to success. If a CIO can appeal to all business stakeholders, then they take a challenging situation and turn it into a position of power.

Culture
A shared strategy requires collaboration and transparency because the success of the investment depends on both the line of business and IT. While many organizations have a technology infrastructure in place that enables open communication among business units, corporate cultures do not always easily facilitate as much openness as will be needed to capitalize on a cloud infrastructure.

In order to overcome these cultural barriers, it's important to enact changes that support a more open culture as early as possible. Such changes could include identifying team members with collaborative experience and shifting them to key positions within the organization and establishing regular executive level reviews to define and monitor cloud service level agreements to help ensure business needs are effectively met. Additionally, human resources may be helpful, in organizing events and activities that bring together disparate groups of people with shared interests. Finally, it's important that all relevant stakeholders recognize that a cloud investment involves a number of shared interests, and all interests are improved with an open culture of communication.

Processes
Even with a more open management and culture, existing processes can get in the way. There is no point in deploying a cloud solution that lets IT and the business respond more quickly if the underlying processes don't change. The fact that you can provision a virtual server in five minutes in the cloud is irrelevant if it takes two weeks to get authorization to provision that server.

Apart from streamlining approval complexity, a CIO should also look for other process improvements to make the partnership more open and flexible. These might be frameworks that span private and public clouds for security and data protection, management portals that delegate access management for line of business controlled systems, or standard services and repositories for faster development cycles in a private cloud. The goal of the new IT / line-of-business partnership is to create value and the processes of the organization must support that goal.

Conclusion
A cloud is only as good as the organization that surrounds it. Adopting the technology without changing the business is the worst mistake a CIO can make. Smart CIOs see beyond the cloud's technology and are open to the changes needed to deliver meaningful results to the enterprise.

More Stories By Pete Chadwick

Pete Chadwick is a senior cloud solutions manager with SUSE, a pioneer in open source software.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICOHOLDER named "Media Sponsor" of Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO. ICOHOLDER gives detailed information and help the community to invest in the trusty projects. Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO has opened its Call for Papers. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPOalso offers sp...
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Global Network has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The IoT Global Network is a platform where you can connect with industry experts and network across the IoT community to build the successful IoT business of the future.
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time t...
CloudEXPO New York 2018, colocated with DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
Disruption, Innovation, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Leadership and Management hear these words all day every day... lofty goals but how do we make it real? Add to that, that simply put, people don't like change. But what if we could implement and utilize these enterprise tools in a fast and "Non-Disruptive" way, enabling us to glean insights about our business, identify and reduce exposure, risk and liability, and secure business continuity?