Managing the cloud

How can CIOs ensure the cloud gives them an advantage rather than puts them at a disadvantage?

When I suggested the potential for constraining resources to another IT leader, he raised the spectre of shadow IT. Encouraging efficiency through constraint is all well and good in a small IT team. But it's much tougher in a decentralised business, where increasing numbers of workers are going out and buying their own IT resources on-demand, with or without the say-so of the CIO.

Cloud, in conclusion, has to be a team game. No one wants to restrict the ability of individuals to use the cloud to help find innovative solutions to intractable challenges. But while individual workers around the organisation will understand the issue that needs to be solved, the IT team has years of experience of understanding how scalable technology can be applied to business processes.

The cloud doesn't have to be a hindrance to effective resource management. But someone in the organisation needs to govern how the business can generate economies of scale from on-demand IT. And the person best placed to take a view across the entire organisation is still the CIO.

Mark Samuels is editor at CIO Connect.  

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