Joe McKendrick | Forbes
Cloud computing may represent the beginning of a shift of control of business technology away from information technology departments and into the hands of managers and professionals from other parts of the business. While a third of executives responding to a recent survey (32%) agree that the IT department is currently the main driver of cloud adoption, another 45% report that individual business units are ultimately responsible for cloud adoption strategies.
These are some of the findings from a new survey of 460 IT leaders and senior business managers conducted by Capgemini. However, just because cloud computing is in more of the hands of the business doesn’t mean it’s run as effectively as possible. For example, the board of directors is seen as both a driver (29%) and a blocker (28%) of cloud initiatives. This suggests that in many cases, “benefiting from the cloud is still being hindered by a lack of appropriate senior level understanding and commitment,” the report states. “It is safe to conclude that by now the benefits of the cloud are clear and widely understood.”
At the same time, the cloud is assuming a great deal of strategic value, says Capgemini’s said Ron Tolido, “The initiative for driving cloud solutions is shifting from the IT department to the business unit as companies focus more on tangible business value,” he says.
The cloud still hasn’t made significant inroads into core mission-critical systems — yet. The survey also finds current migrations to the cloud to be largely focused on new applications that support ‘cutting edge’ areas of business — cited by 78% of executives — rather than legacy applications.
Most enterprise cloud projects are still mainly private cloud implementations, driven by concerns around the security, manageability, quality of service and regulatory compliance associated with using public cloud services. Still, many organizations are comfortable with a trusted partner hosting their cloud services — 40% of organizations cited their preference for off-premise and partner-hosted private cloud solutions, and 26% cited a preference for on-premise private cloud solutions.
What does this tell us? That business managers may be in charge of cloud, but they still want their IT departments to make it all happen. That’s why IT managers and professionals are quickly evolving from coders and administrators to active consultants to the business on selecting and managing technology deployments. Applications may be run by somebody else, but leadership and guidance is still required to make the best technology choices for the business. No other decisions are more critical in today’s digital-driven business world.