Survey: Cloud Computing Elevating Role Of IT
CA Technologies recently released a study indicating that cloud computing is enabling a more central role for IT in shaping business strategy and driving innovation.
The vast majority of survey respondents (96 percent) believes the primary role of IT has changed over the past five years, and 71 percent expect that trend to continue over the next two years. The study, which was conducted by IDG Research Services and sponsored by CA Technologies, polled 200 IT managers in the U.S. and Europe.
More than half (54 percent) of the respondents acknowledge the current value of IT is largely defined by its role as owner and operator of IT infrastructure; however, respondents believe within two years, the primary value of IT will come from managing the IT supply chain. Fifty percent of those surveyed indicate that an increase in cloud-based services, particularly those that were formerly managed in-house, has contributed to this evolution.
"As the IT organization transitions from an owner and operator of IT infrastructure to a manager of more complex, multi-platform internal and external services, CIOs are tasked with redefining the value of IT to the business," said Adam Famularo, general manager, Cloud Computing business, CA Technologies. "This shift represents exciting new opportunities for IT professionals to expand their skill sets and become more strategic advisors to the business."
The survey results also indicate that IT professionals believe cloud computing accelerates agility (63 percent), innovation (58 percent) and collaboration with the business (57 percent). Respondents anticipate cloud computing will boost IT productivity (55 percent) and decrease the level of staff time/resources dedicated to IT support (40 percent).
This transformation will require a significant change in the organization's current skill set, including a demand for more business and management experience. Additional findings include:
- More than half (60 percent) of respondents said demand for personnel with expertise in cloud computing has increased in the last five years, and 63 percent expect demand to grow over the next two years.
- Two-thirds (66 percent) cited the ability to manage service providers as the IT skill that is most likely to increase in importance over the next two years.
- Seventy-two percent said their IT organizations are focusing more time on managing outsourced IT or cloud services providers now versus five years ago, including more time spent on vendor management.
- Nearly 70 percent of respondents agree that an increasing number of CIOs and senior IT staff will have a business (as opposed to a technology) background in the future.
Respondents anticipate new IT titles dedicated to cloud computing and vendor management will emerge. When asked what these new titles may be, predictions included:
- Cloud Architect
- Cloud Service Manager
- Cloud Integration Specialist/Expert
- Cloud Security Manager/Engineer
- Director Cloud Infrastructure
- Executive Vice President of Cloud Technologies
Driven by the trends confirmed in this survey, IT increasingly is taking on the appearance of a supply chain. The traditional supply-chain model is usually connected to manufacturing, where loose collections of resources (technology, processes, goods, services and people) are organized in a logical manner to deliver goods and services to a customer base.
However, as applications, infrastructure and even business processes migrate to the cloud, IT organizations can become effective managers of IT supply-chains using multiple internal and external sources. The goal of this approach is for IT to be able to create value -- and increasingly drive business growth.