Could Cloud, Innovation Be CIO Career-Maker?

Susan Hall
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Five Ways to Migrate Applications to the Cloud

Migration strategies organizations should consider when moving to the cloud.

In CA Technologies' report last fall, "The Future Role of the CIO," approximately 71 percent of respondents who had adopted cloud computing said it's helping to position them for future managment roles. In the poll of 685 CIOs, 39 percent of cloud-adopting CIOs believed they could make it to the CEO role, compared with 24 percent of those who have not adopted cloud computing. Overall, the report found that cloud-adopting CIOs were more ambitious, Bizcloud reports.


Said Jacob Lamm, CA's executive vice president of Strategy and Corporate Development:

We already know that cloud computing is revolutionary in terms of what it can do for business, but it is also breeding a new type of technology leader-one who understands that by leveraging the power of the cloud to enable innovative and strategic business services, he or she is uniquely positioned to impact the business-and exceptionally empowered to lead it.

It makes sense that forward-thinking tech leaders-leaders in the truest sense of the word-are focused on using technology to develop new lines of business, such as the home furnishings company that's using an iPad application to drive in-home sales, described to me by Krishnan Chatterjee, HCL's chief marketing officer.


In a more recent survey of 327 CIOs globally by business services company BMC, 72 percent said they believe business executives are ready to take up cloud computing without IT's input, ZDNet reports. That adds fodder to my colleague Ann All's assertion that if IT execs don't lead on innovation, someone else in the organization will.


The CIO/IT Strategy Media Group IT salary and career survey earlier this year found that CIOs with the best relationships within the organization overall made the most money. Ostensibly, their close ties to the varioius business units could help them work out the pain points within those units and be forward-thinking about possible new avenues in which technology could play a pivotal role.


So for CIOs, even more so than other IT pros, in regard to cloud computing, Redmondmag.com writer Don Jones' advice applies: Don't be caught flat-footed.


Jones also advises, "Don't just fight the tide-be prepared to swim with it."


Lilac Schoenbeck, senior manager of cloud computing at BMC Software, offers these tips at ZDNet for dealing with those business execs going around IT:


  1. Identify who's bypassing IT and why.
  2. Understand how the IT department can deliver against users' expectations.
  3. Continue to manage any products created; "A cloud service that is provided quickly, but doesn't provide service over time creates dissatisfaction."
  4. When one product works, expand to other products to meet future needs.


In this sense, IT's role would be to work with various business units to find the technology that meets their needs and to innovate along the way. And perhaps, just as Millennials' reported impatience could force IT to become more agile, so could the cloud.

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