Good news: CIOs have stopped fighting the cloud

Thanks to CEO and board pressure, and the promise of cost savings, fearful CIOs can no longer ignore the inevitable

Good news: CIOs have stopped fighting the cloud
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I call them the “folded-arm gang”: those CIOs who invite the “cloud guy” into a meeting and then push back on everything you say and do so for no good technical reason. It’s frustrating.

But things are changing. CIOs who once pushed back on cloud computing have either changed their minds or have been fired. Either reason is fine with me.

You can see that shift in a study by Trustmarque that shows more than nine in ten U.K. CIOs and IT decision-makers polled said they plan to migrate their organizations on-premises workloads to the cloud within five years. The study polled 200 CIOs and senior IT decision-makers in enterprises with more than 1,000 employees.

Most surprising is that public-sector U.K. CIOs were more likely to move quickly compared to their private-sector counterparts. That’s not the case in the U.S., where public-sector CIOs are way behind the private sector.

The stated driver for the shift was mostly cost savings, cited by 61 percent. A close second was scalability, at 60 percent. Solving that pesky business agility problem came in at 51 percent. A bit less than half (49 percent) said that outplacing existing infrastructure (such as storage and compute) was the primary driver for migrating to the cloud. Indeed, more than half of CIOs said the complexity of their existing IT infrastructure was causing too much latency.

When it comes to technology deployments, the U.S. tends to be a bit more aggressive than the U.K., so add 10 percent to these numbers to get American CIOs’ take on cloud computing.

For the last decade, CIOs have a big barrier to cloud adoption. That’s partly because maintaining the status quo meant being employed another year; deployment disasters rivaled security breaches as a sure path to the exit door. So avoiding a risk was considered a victory.

These days, CEOs and boards of directors are wise to the value of IT, and thus the value of cloud computing, as a strategic business advantage. They ask much more of their CIOs than they did in the past. This forces everyone from the top down to understand more about cloud, and for CIOs to actually do the work. I’ll take it.