CIO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 57

and IBM have teamed up to spearhead a major education
initiative aimed at training university students to write
programs for cloud systems.
On the user side, as the transition to the utility model
accelerates in the years to come, we’ll likely to see a steady
decline in jobs related to building and maintaining in-house
computer systems, while skills in information management
and process design and automation will remain highly
valued. We may see as well the rise of a new kind of IT
professional – a services broker who serves as the interface
between cloud services and business units, crafting a flexible
portfolio of IT services to meet business needs. The most
aggressive adopters of cloud computing have already
experienced a change in the makeup of their IT departments.
The size of those departments is shrinking, but the positions
that remain tend to be the more senior, more strategic ones.

The Path of Disruption
The following is an excerpt from Nicholas Carr’s essay
The Clouds Roll In – An Afterword to “The Big Switch:
Rewiring the World from Edison to Google.” The entire
article can be read at www.cloudsrollin.com.
The best way to understand the import of cloud computing is
through the “disruptive innovation” framework laid out by
Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen in
his 1997 book The Innovator’s Dilemma. Drawing on a
breadth of research into technological advances, Christensen
demonstrated that upheavals tend to follow a pattern. In its
early stages, a disruptive technology is characterized by
relatively weak performance, which restricts its adoption to
companies or individuals with limited cash, low performance
requirements, or both. But the performance of the disruptive
technology advances quickly, making it attractive to an ever
broader set of users. Eventually, the disruptive technology is
able to fulfill the needs of even the most sophisticated and
demanding users, at which point it becomes the dominant
technology in the marketplace. Cloud computing is advancing up the performance curve just as Christensen’s framework predicts, and it seems only a matter of time before it
becomes the IT model of choice not only for individuals and
small companies but for the largest corporations.
Beyond the technological changes, the advance of the cloud
will mean a realignment of the IT work force, with some jobs
disappearing, some shifting from users to suppliers, and
others becoming more prominent. On the supplier side, we’ll
likely see booming demand for the skills required to design
and run reliable large-scale, multi-tenant computing plants.
Expertise in parallel processing, virtualization, energy
management and cooling, security and encryption, highspeed networking and data caching, and related fields will be
coveted and rewarded. Much software will also need to be
written or rewritten to run efficiently on the new infrastructure. In a clear sign of the new labor requirements, Google

For years, the knock on corporate IT has been that it is out of
sync with business needs – that there is, as the cliché goes, a
“lack of alignment” between the IT department and the
business units. The weak alignment, it can now be seen, was
a symptom of the isolation that up until recently served as the
foundational assumption of corporate IT – isolated
infrastructure, isolated applications, isolated data, and, all too
often, isolated users. This assumption of isolation conflicted
with the assumption of sharing that underpins business itself.
(The reason business organizations exist is to allow collaboration among employees.) By making sharing the underlying
assumption of IT for the first time, the cloud promises to
finally bring IT and business into alignment – at least for
those companies that embrace the cloud’s promise.
CIOs recognize this opportunity, and they’re embracing it. In
fact, the single most surprising development in cloud
computing over the past three years has been the 180-degree
change in the attitudes of forward-looking CIOs. Far from
seeing the cloud as a threat, as many originally did, they now
view utility-style computing as an opportunity to strengthen
their own roles in their companies by shedding or outsourcing non-strategic activities and focusing their efforts on core
business tasks. Early in 2011, I attended a panel discussion
on cloud computing involving a group of prominent CIOs in
Silicon Valley. They were unanimous in their sense that, as
one of them put it, the cloud was making the CIO position
“more relevant” than ever. CIOs aren’t buying all the current
hype about the cloud – they’re a skeptical bunch – but they
now view cloud computing as essential to the future of their
companies and their careers.
We’re at the dawn of a new era in business. Just as the last
century’s electric utilities spurred the development of
thousands of new consumer appliances and services, so the
new computing utilities will shake up many markets and
open myriad opportunities for innovation. We see this
transformation playing out not just in IT departments and the
IT industry but across information-intensive industries like
media and entertainment. Harnessing the power of the
electric grid was the great enterprise of the twentieth century.
Harnessing the power of the cloud is shaping up to be the
great enterprise of the twenty-first century.
CIO Straight Talk //

57


http://www.cloudsrollin.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
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