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Being in the IT industry for many years I had the pleasure to get my own head into the cloud early 2011 already.

Since then many things happened, but I learned one thing for sure: The only constant in life is change.

Change requires a momentum

The business environment of our decade is marked by an unprecedented pace of change. Fast Innovators – hungry for success – disrupt established markets. Not necessarily fueled with better products but better customer service strategies. Smart companies leapfrog industry borders and sell additional products and services into existing markets and leave established market leaders perplexed behind. We recognized many Tech Industry Blue Chips has fallen flat and became irrelevant in one single decade. Universally spoken we know latest since Sir Isaac Newton that every APPLE once falls from the tree. No doubt, all established companies were truly entrepreneurs with tremendous achievements in their respective markets.  They have each performed phenomenally upon entering the market and they all had great advantages over the competition … for the time being.

A new dilemma arises once companies become market leaders: to maintain their hard-won position, they now put themselves in (the) defense. The most innovative companies start becoming conservative the moment they become successful. True, this helps their business position. Unfortunately, this also potentially signals the beginning of the end of their innovation leadership.

Achieving success inevitably comes with close chasers aiming to compete in the market place.  They have the “eye of the tiger” and are hungering to take you down.  Without anything to lose and streamlined to bite, competitors will gather to beat out the market leader, improving and often imitating to become better than the establishment. With all this pressure, the focus as market leader shifts from creating the next “big thing” to conserving existing markets.  It will maximize return on investment, but in return they lose the creativity and the “eye of the tiger” that had previously propelled to success.

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Transform while you are in good shape

Cloud is a catalyst for the entire industry to undergo a significant transformation. With the arrival of this technology times are changing faster than ever and requires companies and individuals to change and adopt.
Not only us at SAP, every single company need to find a way to transform the business into the digital age and require it’s IT organization to take the cloud challenge.

IT needs to be seen as an LOB similar to all other(s) business functions as well. Nevertheless IT does have a broader cross department mandate. Balancing IT between “Run the company” and “Change/Innovate the company” with technology is a fundamental task for the organization to keep the company competitive. With the arrival of cloud we see more tasks commoditized and provided over the web from specialized companies.

This goes along with a huge challenge for IT Leaders to not incubate existing structures longer than it is wise.

Adopting  early and out of a strong position is a much better answer than keeping the arms around existing achievements as long as possible.

Cloud will reduce the commoditized footprint of IT organizations and free up resources to focus on value adding activities. This is a historical opportunity for IT but requires a move out of the existing niche and a change of job profiles.

Basically, commodity oriented roles will not be as relevant as in the past. But in contrast, new roles are required to deliver technology-driven added value:

  • Process Designers, who understand and translate an End2End business process through various technology stacks
  • Data Migration tasks
  • Data and Process Integration tasks
  • Comprehensive high class project management
  • More Data Security and Privacy Experts
  • Data Artists to manage the huge amoount of information and interpret signals

to mention just a few.

Most of the tasks are not new to IT but what I observe is that the balance between the different job profiles will change. The shift to the cloud require more highly specialized and very well educated people within the organizations to keep track with all changes and manage the loose ends.

IT Leaders need to prepare their teams and also create new career paths for the entire organization to stay competitive and – as important – to stay attractive as an employer for talents.

Agree? Looking forward to get your perspective on… at @BeSchulze

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For more opinions on how Cloud Computing may affect your Industry and/or Line of Business (LoB) – and thus your career, read here:


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