Author: Kushal Patel, Senior Consultant
Is the cloud turning IT upside down? All the talk around IT as a Service and the cloud can make even the most experienced, seasoned IT leaders worry that their team may not have what it takes to keep up. If you listen to some of the pundits, they would have you believe that IT teams are in trouble of becoming obsolete due to a lack of appropriate skills and understanding of business processes. While the cloud is creating a paradigm shift, I think many of the “experts” are overreacting and underestimating IT’s resiliency.
How many times has IT already “evolved?” There’s been the client/server revolution, wireless networking, mobile support, fighting malware, and virtualization of just about everything from servers and storage to applications and desktops. The very nature of technology, and therefore the job of IT, means it is impossible for the technology, or the role of IT, to be static. The technical know-how of IT will always be a necessity; this time it may be more about a shift in mindset that requires a realignment tied to process and workflow development. If IT leaders drive the “attitude adjustment” of its team and reassign priorities to be more tightly aligned with business goals, the team (and its skill sets) will evolve – yet again.
So what will the real impact of the cloud on IT’s role be? As IT shifts into the “cloud era,” so must your organization’s skill sets and goals. The ability to identify and leverage resources – whether they come from the cloud or the company’s own data center — is becoming a key part of IT leaders’ responsibilities and this mindset should also trickle down to your administrators and engineers. Having a unified message that IT should be a business unit that provides innovation in line with the business’ goals is essential for the evolution of IT.
And by the way, it doesn’t stop at IT. Finance and procurement also need to understand how the new cost model of cloud computing will affect the budgets for the organization. Heck, they might actually be the ones driving you towards the cloud. It will be interesting to see if they can evolve as quickly as you!