CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 54

CL Technologies asked Carr to write an
afterward to The Big Switch, updating his
thinking to reflect recent developments. An
excerpt from this update can be found on
Page 55; the entire essay is available at
www.cloudsrollin.com.
Carr is the author of two other influential books about
technology and its implications: Does IT Matter? Information Technology and the Corrosion of Competitive Advantage (2004) and The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing
to Our Brains (2010). A former executive editor of
Harvard Business Review, he has written for many periodicals, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York
Times, the Financial Times, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Sloan MIT Management Review, Strategy & Business
and Wired. He is a member of the Encyclopedia Britannica's editorial board of advisors, is on the steering board of
the World Economic Forum's cloud computing project and
writes the popular blog Rough Type (www.roughtype.com).
In this edited interview with HCL Vice President Anubhav
Saxena, Carr offers his opinions on a variety of cloudrelated issues, including how quickly businesses will (and
should) adopt cloud computing and how disruptive it will
be to industries, companies and IT professionals.

To what extent have consumers been ahead of
business in making “the big switch” to the cloud?
Until recently, if you wanted to look at the cutting edge of
computing and IT, you would look at big companies,
because those were the ones who invested in the latest and
greatest hardware, software, services and so forth. Today,
things are different. What we have seen with cloud computing is that the early adopters have actually been individuals,
often without even being conscious of the fact that they are
pioneering this new mode of delivering IT services. But if I
think of my own experience or my kid’s experience 10
years ago, personal computing was very much centered on
the hard-drive in your computer. Your applications, your
data and everything ran from there. Today, for kids and
everyone, your first instinct when you are doing personal
computing, whether it is on a traditional PC or a laptop or a
tablet or a smart phone is not to go out and buy a standalone piece of software and install it on your hardware. It is
to go out into the cloud, onto the web, where you usually
find what you need in terms of data and services, and often
you find it for free.
This kind of cloud revolution, which has already happened
in the personal and home computing space, has been a little
slower among companies. This is because they have so
much invested in the past models of computing that they
are not as flexible as individuals. While some companies
have been quicker than others to adopt cloud services, in
general, because of past investments in the corporate world,
cloud will be adopted over a course of many years. When
we talk about adoption of cloud computing, if companies

54

// CIO Straight Talk

go too fast, they might make some mistakes. If they go too
slow, then they will be at a disadvantage.
I hear CIOs who still believe that the cloud will just be a
small addition to traditional computing. Maybe they’ll use
it for mobile computing. And I think they are being too
complacent. Yes, I don’t think it will be wise for every
company to try to move too quickly to the cloud. But I
strongly feel that all businesses should realize that there is
going to be a fundamental shift in the nature of computing.
They really need to start planning and experimenting now
with all the different capabilities and stay on top of this
transition if they don’t want to lag behind.

How is cloud going to change the IT landscape, the
economic landscape and the IT organizations in
general? Does it represent a threat or an opportunity?
One thing I’ve been struck by, while talking to CIOs and IT
managers, is that a lot of the skepticism and fear of the
cloud that was prevalent three years ago has gone away.
What amazes me is that most CIOs see this as an opportunity. Not only as a technology opportunity, but also as an
organizational opportunity – an opportunity to redefine
their own roles. The cloud is shifting the profile of the CIO
and the IT organization away from non-strategic types of
work and investment – jobs like maintaining your own data
center, hardware and applications and other IT services that
are very important but that don’t differentiate your business
in terms of its core sources of strategic advantage. They are
shifting the IT organization away from those
non-differentiated types of activities toward the ability to
connect services with individual business units and their
particular strategies, sources of advantages and such.
In some ways, it is ironic, because one of the implications of
the cloud is that many IT organizations are going to shrink
in terms of headcount, as they push more administrative and
maintenance type jobs out to the cloud supplier. On the
other hand – and you’re already seeing a lot of enthusiasm
for this, especially among the aggressive adopters of the
cloud – the people who remain tend to be much more high
profile and business focused. They have almost a brokerage
role, matching crucial services to the various sources of
strategic advantage within the various lines of a business.
Increasingly, the IT organization is the interface between
those two, providing business expertise as much as technological expertise. So there’s a lot of enthusiasm among CIOs
today about what the cloud enables them to do both technologically and also in terms of their own organization’s
profile and their role in the business.

You’ve interacted with service providers across the
globe, and you’ve been working through the cloud’s
limitations and constraints. You’ve also seen
MyCloud, HCL’s ambitious initiative to orchestrate
workloads between private clouds and public clouds
and overcome standards limitations and communica-


http://www.cloudsrollin.com http://www.roughtype.com

CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2

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

CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2
Contents
So What Do CIOs Want
Innovation at the Periphery
The CIO as Thought Leader
Career Move: From Managing Technology to Managing Change
Every CIO is in the Information Business
Analytics and Decision Making
Putting IT at the Center of the Customer Experience
Pick n Pay Focuses on Delivering Value to Customers
Bringing "Lean" to IT
Whither the Cloud in a Stormy IT Enviroment?
Management by Driving a Stake in the Ground
From Data Processing to Orchestrating Knowledge
Extreme Collaboration
Enterprise Mobility: Delivering the Connected Customer Experience
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Cover2
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 3
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Contents
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 5
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - So What Do CIOs Want
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 7
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 8
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 9
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 10
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 11
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 12
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 13
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 14
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 15
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 16
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 17
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Innovation at the Periphery
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 19
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 20
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 21
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - The CIO as Thought Leader
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 23
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 24
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 25
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Career Move: From Managing Technology to Managing Change
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 27
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 28
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 29
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Every CIO is in the Information Business
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 31
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 32
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 33
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Analytics and Decision Making
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 35
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 36
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 37
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 38
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 39
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Putting IT at the Center of the Customer Experience
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 41
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 42
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Pick n Pay Focuses on Delivering Value to Customers
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 44
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 45
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 46
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Bringing "Lean" to IT
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 48
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 49
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 50
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Whither the Cloud in a Stormy IT Enviroment?
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 52
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 53
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 54
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 55
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Management by Driving a Stake in the Ground
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 57
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 58
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - From Data Processing to Orchestrating Knowledge
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 60
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 61
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Extreme Collaboration
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 63
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 64
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 65
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Enterprise Mobility: Delivering the Connected Customer Experience
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 67
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 68
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 69
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 70
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 71
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 72
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 73
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 74
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Cover3
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - Cover4
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/assetheavy2020
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue11
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/womenintech2
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue11
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue10
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue9
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue8
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue7
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue6
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue5
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue4
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue3
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue2
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue1
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com