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Biztech Oct 31, 2013

CIOs Risk Becoming Marginalised In The Era Of Cloud

By Samir Alam
Interesting results came to light for Indian IT decision makers and CxOs as Forrester Research revealed the results of their cloud adoption survey for India and the Asia Pacific region.
The survey commissioned by VMware as a part of their 4th annual VMware Cloud Index investigated 12 Asia Pacific economies in July 2013. The survey polled 2,785 senior IT decision makers in countries like Australia, India, China, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, of which 700 were based in India.
Era of the Cloud
The dominant trend continued to be a shift towards increased cloud or “as-a-service” solutions adoption by enterprises, with 65 percent of respondents considering it a critical step to being competitive. In India, the response was much higher with nearly 90 percent of respondents considering cloud computing as a relevant contributor to their organizations future growth.
Cloud computing was also considered a top priority by 30 percent of respondents as a transformer of business outcomes for their organization. Overall, nearly 73 percent of enterprises in the region had already deployed cloud or were doing so in the next 12 months. For India, the figure was higher, at nearly 80 percent respondents who had already adopted or were in the process of adopting.
CIO Implications
A measure of special interest was the metrics on how respondents perceive the role of the CIO as a credible influence within the organization. In India, 63 percent of respondents were largely in favour of CIOs as leaders of IT growth and innovation, however 80 percent felt that unless IT departments become more agile and cost-effective in their contribution to business outcomes, the CIO risks being marginalized and outmoded.
Faced with issues of renegade IT expenditure and unruly resource deployment in areas such as BYOD policies within organisations, CIOs are increasingly looking towards a cohesive and encompassing solution to cater to their organisation’s needs. “The ideal goal is that employees should be able to provision themselves with applications and services from a central catalogue,” said T. Srinivasan, managing director, VMware India & SAARC. “It would make technology acquisition agile and seamless which would curb renegade IT behaviour.”
Another hurdle discovered in the survey indicates that nearly 50 percent of IT decision makers observe resistance to cloud and “as-a-service” solutions within their oraganisations. In spite of these challenges, the onus to generate profitable IT policies continues to fall on the CIOs shoulders and although 77 percent of respondents agreed that cost reduction through cloud computing was significant, it isn’t a sufficient enough contribution to business outcomes by CIOs.
It is becoming clear that unless CIOs are able to provide outcome-oriented value from the IT department they risk becoming obsolete. The contribution of technology in customer facing and process based operations is a critical component of any IT department’s value. In this regard, the CIO has a dual task; to maintain and optimize foundational IT operations, and more importantly to collaborate with other Line of Business organisations within the enterprise to provide clear return on investment from cloud computing investments.
The CIO who can provide an effective solutions and efficient management of these two aspects will not only be a great Chief Information Officer but a true Chief Innovation Officer.
by Samir Alam

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