The cloud raises many significant technology questions. But for the modern transformational CIO, here is one question that trumps them all: Would you prefer spending your time leading the IT organization and helping the company grow, or tending an unruly tangle of legacy systems?
The cloud offers you an escape from the endless cycle of upgrading and replacing capital equipment. The cloud lets you focus on providing services instead of providing systems.
Yes, it’s a whole new way of looking at IT. The old IT paradigm was about processes; the new IT paradigm is about results. The cloud simply offers the fastest path to the new paradigm.
Part of the new paradigm involves the continuously evolving role of the CIO. Smart CIOs will leverage the speed, agility and lower overall implementation costs of cloud services to deliver strategic business value to the enterprise.
In a very real sense, the cloud creates a new leadership platform for the CIO by enabling the rapid development and deployment of new and innovative business models. In this regard, the cloud is truly revolutionary.
Does all of this mean the cloud is the end of IT as we know it? Not by a long shot. The cloud represents another stage in the evolution of technology. I look at the cloud as a bridge that gets us from where we are to where we want to be.
I am also convinced that the cloud’s moment has arrived, and that the cloud will be with us for a while. Here’s why I believe the cloud will continue growing for at least the next decade:
Despite all the dire headlines and genuine distress about various regional economies, the global economy is growing. People all over the world are becoming wealthier. The most obvious indicator of this new wealth is the growth of mobile phone usage. We’re experiencing the greatest transformation of human culture since the invention of the printing press, but because we’re right in the middle of it, we can’t perceive the enormity of the changes.
The explosive growth of mobile is driving the explosive growth of social media, which in turn is driving the explosive growth of Big Data. Make no mistake: We are now generating new data at astonishing speed and unimaginable magnitude. As a global culture, we have created a deluge of data. There’s no place for all of this new data to go except into the cloud.
Big Data is driving the cloud and will continue to drive the cloud, because Big Data is simply too big to exist on any single system. Big Data is destined to live in the cloud, because it can’t live anywhere else.
If your company depends on data – and it’s hard to imagine a company that doesn’t – you need a cloud strategy, today. Maybe 10 or 20 years from now, we’ll invent a newer technology that will make the cloud obsolete. That day will come, no doubt. But for the now, smart money is betting on the cloud.