The cloud is coming to your business, like it or not

Survey: Significant adoption often had nothing to do with IT, suggesting many businesses have pulled ahead of their CIOs

A new survey from Brocade finds the role of the CIO is changing, apparently driven by cloud computing. The survey of 100 CIOs from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa finds that half expect cloud adoption to take less time than required to deal with IT infrastructure issues, such as email and storage.

Moreover, one-third of the CIOs report that cloud computing is already in their enterprises -- and IT had nothing to do with it. Finally, about 70 percent stated that cloud computing services are here to stay, and they would adopt more in the years to come.

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We've known for some time that cloud computing is showing up in all enterprises, with or without CIO approval. Although shortsighted CIOs push back hard on those who use cloud services such as Dropbox or Google Apps, CIOs who "get it" are using this interest in cloud computing to move in more productive and innovative directions.

The role of the CIO is not only rapidly changing, but we could witness a shift in the CIOs themselves as a result. I see many IT leaders, including CIOs, who are passive-aggressive around the adoption of the cloud computing -- they're dragging their feet. At some point, the people above and below them will get tired of the constant delays and excuses and swap out those IT execs for more innovative talent. We saw the same pattern around the use of PCs in the 1980s and the adoption of the Internet in the 1990s.

Good CIOs understand the emerging technology, then determine its value for their business. Moreover, they create reasonable plans around the use of this technology as applied to the business. Those CIOs will shine through the adoption of cloud computing -- or any new and emerging technology.

This article, "The cloud is coming to your business, like it or not," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and track the latest developments in cloud computing at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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