The Role of IT in the Cloud Era

    “Can I get this done without going to IT?” simply wasn’t an option for most enterprise projects in the past. However, the explosion of software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings has led non-IT people to start questioning when–and even if–they need to bring IT into the picture. IT has often been perceived as the bottleneck, creating pent-up frustrations that lead people to look for ways to decrease IT’s involvement or bypass it altogether.

    The availability of enterprise SaaS offerings has given business users options that require significantly less IT involvement or even none at all. These solutions eliminate much of the infrastructure work that used to consume IT, giving people outside of IT new alternatives. Take the case of CRM systems — CRM implementation used to be a huge IT project, but with the rise of cloud-based CRM systems it’s now become something that is commonly driven and owned by sales operations, with only a small amount of IT involvement. Add to that the share of spend and budget that is not owned by IT and there’s a real question of whether IT has lost its influence.

    It’s clear that IT’s role needs to change, but how? In this slideshow, Snowflake‘s CEO, Bob Muglia, outlines a few tips on how IT organizations are adapting to their role in the era of the cloud.

    The Role of IT in the Cloud Era - slide 1

    IT’s New Role in the Cloud

    Click through for tips on how IT organizations can adapt to their role in the era of the cloud, as identified by Snowflake’s CEO, Bob Muglia.

    The Role of IT in the Cloud Era - slide 2

    Integrate Data and Applications

    Whereas IT used to focus on integrating infrastructure, a new focus is on integrating cloud applications. The ease of deployment of the cloud has created a proliferation of special-purpose offerings that fragment and silo data and access. Leading IT organizations bring expertise in tying that together — creating the connectors that use the web-based interfaces (e.g., REST and other APIs) that cloud applications provide, identifying and choosing data integration tools, and designing data pipelines to collect and bring together data.

    The Role of IT in the Cloud Era - slide 3

    Establish and Enforce a Consistent Approach to Security

    In the rush to get projects done, security is something that frequently gets left by the wayside, particularly when those projects don’t involve IT. IT can help mitigate the risks that process creates by defining and applying policies for secure authentication, data encryption, access control, auditing and validating that cloud options under consideration can support those policies.

    The Role of IT in the Cloud Era - slide 4

    Determine and Apply SLAs

    A key challenge of the cloud is that SLAs for performance, remediation, and availability are no longer under direct control of the company. Leading IT organizations bring an understanding of designing applications to leverage the cloud elasticity needed to deliver consistent performance, of how and where to incorporate redundancy to ensure availability in the cloud, of implementing disaster recovery in a cloud context, and of tools and approaches to use in the cloud for scalable monitoring and alerting when problems occur.

    The Role of IT in the Cloud Era - slide 5

    Deliver More, Faster

    A common IT challenge is that the number of project requests far exceeds what IT can deliver. Using the cloud and SaaS, IT can deliver more projects faster, increasing innovation and productivity across the organization.

    The Role of IT in the Cloud Era - slide 6

    Prevent Silos and Ensure Integration

    By proactively helping to choose and deploy SaaS applications in a coherent, integrated way, IT can prevent shadow IT from leading to incompatible and inaccessible silos of information and insight that get in the way of business planning and decision making.

    The Role of IT in the Cloud Era - slide 7

    Deliver World-Class Solutions

    It’s prohibitively difficult and expensive for IT to be the best-in-the-world at everything it’s traditionally been asked to do – world class at data center operations, at monitoring, at capacity planning, at security, at application tuning, at application troubleshooting, etc. But the cloud and SaaS enable IT to raise the bar in finding and choosing vendors and products that deliver the highest standards of capability, performance, security, availability, and more.

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