I thought CIO magazine's Bernard Golden did a great job of highlighting the threats and opportunities for cloud computing for both the rank-and-file workers in enterprises, as well as IT executives: "CIOs and senior IT managers are not immune from the employment risks that cloud computing poses to lower-level infrastructure and operations workers. Failing to rethink the delivery of IT services -- and the new organizational structures that will be needed to deliver them--poses a threat to their job security."
The essence of this issue is that the way we deliver IT resources -- including infrastructure, applications, and development -- will change in the near future. Your ability to get ahead of these changes is directly related to your success. On the other hand, if you ignore the potential value of the cloud, you could come to be known as non-innovative and a hindrance to productivity. And that is a quick path to a seat near the door.
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CIOs tend to take one of two paths:
- There is the CIO who believes that what he or she oversees in the enterprise is optimal to the needs of the business, and new technology trends such as cloud computing won't be helpful or the trend will not be validated until it is adopted by the majority of corporate America. In some areas, such a CIO may be right, but not in all. If there is no understanding of the potential value, then missed opportunities are also not understood. Clearly, the cloud should not be force-fitted in most enterprises, but there is value in specific areas where the technology should be applied. For a CIO on this path, the cloud will get him or her fired for not paying attention to its value.
- There is the CIO who loves whatever is new and hyped, and he or she tries to apply it everywhere, no matter if there is a real need. Although you would think that this type of CIO would get big innovation points, you'll find that as the number of failed projects racks up, such a CIO is quite vulnerable. For a CIO on this path, the cloud will get him or her fired for overapplying the technology.
The right path is one of a change agent, working within the organization to determine the value of cloud computing and the right path for your enterprise. This typically means splitting the difference between ignoring and overusing cloud computing. Moreover, this also means focusing on all levels of the organization and mapping a path from the existing state to the future state of using the cloud.
This is not just a technology change; it's about organizational and cultural changes as well. If you don't get ahead of this trend, you could find that your job is at risk.
This article, "Too cloud-averse or too cloud-eager: Either way, you're fired," 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.