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The cloud transition: What You Can (and Can’t) listen to from your IT department

The cloud transition: What You Can (and Can’t) listen to from your IT department

A while ago I have written an article about the future of the internal IT department in a cloud dominated world, Who’s Afraid of the Cloud?.  I said that, in the future, the role of enterprise IT would become more complex and more business oriented.

This was applicable to the post cloud adoption environment.  But I believe that this applies to the transition process itself too,  as it is clear that the IT department needs to play a leading role, and even instigate the change, to prepare itelf for its more complex role to come. And although the move to the cloud needs to be a business decision, as I said before, the IT department has a few key questions to answer.

The first one is what are the full services the IT department provides for the business.  And it is important here that the answer coming from the IT is not „we manage 20 servers”, but „we provide this for the business”.

The second question the IT department needs to answer is the importance of each of the services provided to the business: Is it critical? Is it a support service? Or is it something that directly impacts its bottom line? Here, the answers from the IT department have to be carefully reviewed and the priorities and needs reassesed and agreed.  Following these reviews, a list of what services can and should be migrated to the cloud can be made.

The third question the IT department needs to answer is how do we deliver these services? Do our technical capabilities and abilities deliver the best possible support? Would we need extra investment and new people in order to deliver a better service? In most cases, the answers to these issues is probably yes.  But here, the IT department needs to also analyse the alternative, what could the cloud do? And at this point I believe external cloud computing transition specialists could be consulted, to add an impartial view.

Once the decisions concerning the degree of transition to the cloud are made, and what services should or should not be migrated, the actual process of implementation is a new challenge for the IT department, which needs to honestly answer the question: can we handle it ourselves, or do we need extra help? Maybe some additional contractors, or even a specialized firm needs to be called in.  But it is important to have a clear and honest evaluation in order to identify requirements.

What I believe it is important to remeber is that, ultimately, business needs to drive the change, and as usual, the IT department’s role is to support the business.  And migrating to the cloud is a major decision, for both IT and business as a whole, so they need to work together.

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