CTO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 18

Instead of being known for saying "no," IT will more often than not be
on the cutting edge of business innovation, partnering with change
agents across the enterprise.
IT today is engaged in something that

and action - while shedding costs

the business, the new CIO role is

resembles circus trapeze artistry.

and improving agility. The cloud,

all business. CIOs must function

Much like a troupe of acrobats

the enabler of this expanded and

as partners and advisers rather

attempting seamless handoffs as they

varied role for IT, is now a mature

than just service providers. Instead

fly through the air, IT organizations

and vital option across the spectrum

of being arbiters of capacity and

are trying to quickly and smoothly

of IT activities. It is IT on a scale

setters of limits, CIOs must become

transition some or all of their key

we've never seen before. Consider

business architects, implementing

functions from traditional on-

organizations such as Amazon Web

partnerships and providing access

premise computing to the cloud,

Services and Microsoft Azure, which

to services that can enable the

even as the business goes on

have invested billions of dollars in

organization to function better and

uninterrupted. Just as with daring

building their infrastructures. They

move faster.

circus performers, there is always the

are able to provide services that you

danger of dramatic failure.

could never match within your four

The risks, however, have less to do
with actually being in the cloud and
more to do with the process of getting
there. The transition requires careful
attention to the people involved and
the continual cultivation of new kinds

walls. Not everything will end up
in the cloud - but almost anything
could. In fact, anyone creating a
business from the ground up today
would be unlikely to invest in onpremise IT and unwise to do so.

The transition to the cloud also
requires the transformation of
the entire IT organization. In
adopting a more specialized and
compartmentalized operational
approach, the move resembles the
evolution of the delivery of
medical services.

of IT skills and expertise. Fortunately,

If the on-premise model is fading,

the rewards of a successful transition

what does that mean for the people

are substantial - in both the short-

who have traditionally run IT? It

and the long term.

means change, starting at the top.

A New IT Organization

As an IT leader, a CIO needs to think

pediatric services, or serving the

about how to function in a rapidly

medical needs of an elder, the

It doesn't require any special gift

evolving role while preparing his

general practitioner was expected

of discernment to see that the

or her organization to support the

to somehow do it all. Nowadays,

traditional IT organization, which

transition to the cloud. Both tasks

in the name of both efficiency and

ran everything within the walls of

require the CIO to acquire new and

quality, medicine has grown highly

the enterprise, is more or less dead.

different skills.

specialized. There are practitioners

The days of just managing data
centers and a relatively fixed suite
of applications are gone. IT is now
being asked to do far more - and
to participate in strategic thinking

CTO Straight Talk | 18

In contrast to the somewhat
ambiguous role CIOs have played
in the past, essentially functioning
as intermediaries between the
information technology staff and

In the past, almost all of a family's
health needs were addressed by
a general practitioner. Whether it
was delivering a baby, providing

for every phase of life, every part
of the body, and almost every type
of illness. Additionally, there are
a wide range of subspecialists, for
everything from physical therapy to


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CTO Straight Talk - Issue 2


CTO Straight Talk - Issue 2