Cloud Computing Study Shaping Business Strategy

CA technologies and IDG recently published a study examining how large company IT decision-makers view the impact of cloud computing on their future business activities. The study surveyed 200 IT managers in the U.S. and Europe at companies with revenue of $500 million or more. The study found that cloud computing is causing IT to take on a more central role in shaping business strategy and driving innovation. It also highlighted the need to upgrade IT skills with more business and management skills and experience.

Of the respondents surveyed in the CA and IDG study, “54 percent acknowledged the current value of IT is largely defined by its role as owner and operator of IT infrastructure but feel that within two years, the primary value of IT will come from managing the IT supply chain and 50 percent of those surveyed indicate that an increase in cloud-based services, particularly those that were formerly managed in-house, has contributed to this evolution.” As well, “Nearly 70 percent agree that an increasing number of CIOs and senior IT staff will have a business (as opposed to a technology) background in the future.” When asked to predict what new titles IT staff may be, a few of the many responses included: “Cloud Architect, Cloud Service Manager, Cloud Integration Specialist/Expert, and Executive Vice President of Cloud Technologies.”

The results of the study indicate that IT decision-makers in large enterprise are now understanding the importance of cloud computing in helping them boost their IT flexibility, lower costs, and increase their computing capacity without increasing their budgets. They also understand the importance of moving their IT departments to a more business orientated structure. As well, it seems that IT managers are no longer fearing that the cloud will make them irrelevant and there are new opportunities available to them when they adopt cloud computing.

The CA technologies and IDG study has shown that IT is now taking on the structure of a traditional manufacturer supply chain. Much like the conventional supply-chain framework which is normally attached to manufacturing where resources are arranged in a consistent manner to deliver goods and services, as IT supply-chains (applications, infrastructure and business processes) move to the cloud, IT agencies will become effective managers of these IT supply-chains by utilizing multiple internal and external sources. With cloud computing growing at such a rapid pace, it is understandable that in the near future there will be a larger IT role in shaping business strategy and driving innovation.