Cloud and the Changing Roles within IT

Cloud computing is credited with transforming the landscape of IT from how the business procures services and resources to how vendors deliver product to the role IT plays in acquiring and delivering technology. It’s important that IT leaders see the opportunities cloud offers the technology organization and the business it supports rather than view the changes cloud presents as anything other than an evolution of the role of IT.

Many IT industry and technology trends affect job descriptions within an IT organization, but the idea of the cloud has caused some to make the leap that roles will be eliminated rather than updated with new skill sets to deal with the new requirements cloud introduces. Cloud will call for a new type of IT leader; one that understands technology products, services and processes can be home-grown or procured from an external source. The difference between the two will come down to which best suits the business and it will be IT’s job to make the best choice for the business without bias. And CIOs and IT leaders will be seeking forward-thinking technology professionals that realize updating their skills sets could benefit the business in the long run.

For instance, a 2011 CA Technologies study, covered in the Forbes article, Cloud Computing: Ticket to the Corner Office?, detailed how of 685 CIOs surveyed, 54% said they believed “cloud computing has enabled them to spend more time on business strategy and innovation.” While some of the more technical responsibilities of the IT department could be handed off to cloud providers, the role of IT could benefit from the cloud as it is elevated to making more strategic decisions as tactical details are being covered by cloud providers.

Still, according to Michael Benson, Chief Information Officer at DirecTV, cloud will not only lessen the tactical burden on IT, but it could also potentially create new strategic roles for IT.

“Definitely you will see more and more things that are managed by cloud providers; therefore, you may not have as many folks that are managing the environment, but you’ll probably have new relationship managers, new vendor management, cloud management type of skill set solutions,” Benson recently said in a CA Technologies Cloud Luminaries video interview. “You’ll have to have better governance between the cloud providers and your company.”

That means IT shouldn’t view cloud as an end to required responsibilities but as an evolution as the business will need the technology-savvy guidance to determine which provider is the best suited to meet its needs. If the cloud landscape is navigated correctly, then IT’s role could be elevated from operations administrator to trusted strategic advisor to the business.

How does your IT organization incorporate cloud into its existing role structure? Does IT represent the business in procuring cloud services? How is the relationship between IT and the business evolving in regards to cloud? Please leave a comment, share your thoughts with me via Twitter @DDubie or e-mail me your take directly at


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Denise Dubie

Principal of Strategic Content at CA Technologies
Denise Dubie (@DDubie) is Principal of Strategic Content in CA Technologies Thought Leadership Group. Denise is charged with creating content relevant to today’s most pressing technology and business trends for industry leaders and IT professionals. Prior to joining the company in 2010, Dubie spent 12 years of her career at Network World, an IDG company, covering the IT management industry and all of its players (including CA Technologies and its competitors) as well as high-tech careers, technology trends and vendors such as Cisco, HP, IBM and Microsoft. As Senior Editor at Network World, Dubie also authored the publication's twice-weekly Network and Systems Management Alert newsletter and contributed to the Web site's Microsoft Subnet blog. Before IDG, she served as Assistant Managing Editor at Application Development Trends, managing writers and the monthly publication's production process. Dubie started her professional journalism career as a Staff Writer/Reporter at The Transcript, a small daily paper in Western Massachusetts. You can find Denise on Google+ at Denise Dubie and Twitter @DDubie.