Cloud Computing represents a lot of things to a lot of people. At its most basic, it can help an organization to be more flexible, implement technology more quickly, take advantage of new advances in the technology realm, and more accurately match costs to consumption.
There is another, oft overlooked benefit that cloud computing can provide: better collaboration between business and technology departments. In fact, is it almost impossible for organizations to make the most of the cloud without alignment between IT and the rest of the business.
Companies that want to successfully implement and integrate the many public cloud services available today will have to rely on the skills of their staff across the whole organization. While there are some firms that look at cloud computing as a way of minimizing the role of IT, the savvy business leaders know that there is much that IT can bring to the table in terms of the following:
- Helping to select the right solution that can grow with the business
- Managing the integration been the cloud and existing on-premise resources
- Managing the security of the organization’s data
- Mitigating the risks that arise when changes are made to the infrastructure
- Managing the vendors
- Helping to plan for the long-term
IT leaders need to be proactive about seeking solutions that will help the business to move forward, all the while identifying and mitigating the inevitable risks that arise. The cloud may not be right for every aspect of a business, but it should not simply be ignored.
Business leaders need to cooperate with IT in selecting solutions that serve business needs without undermining current, successful operations. Budgets everywhere are tight, but the prospect of saving a few dollars today should not be the driving force in making infrastructure and application changes that can have significant ramifications.
By working together as peers dedicated to the same over-arching goal – the success of the organization – IT and the business can select robust, cost-effective solutions that will grow as the firm grows, and that will not introduce liability or other surprises. Each party brings knowledge and expertise that will help the other make the right choices.
The proper business/IT alignment will result in a competitive advantage even beyond cloud computing, and is vital to moving ahead in a tight economy. Reap the full benefits that the cloud can provide your organization by bring IT and the business together on equal footing.
Andrew S. Baker is a hands-on architect of advanced technology solutions that increase corporate agility, mitigate business risk, reduce operating costs, and facilitate business growth for organizations in the SMB market. Mr. Baker has served for over 15 years as a trusted technology advisor to small and mid-sized organizations across many verticals, specializing in the areas of technology infrastructure, information security and cloud computing.