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Cloud computing beginning to mean something to the average worker

Malcolm Ross, Senior Vice President, Product Strategy, Appian
September 27, 2012

The way that cloud computing impacts enterprise IT is having an interesting side effect on operations - it is making the average worker more cognizant of technology. A recent Business 2 Community report explained that almost all enterprise employees have probably used the cloud at this point, some without knowing, and the time has come for the average worker to understand the different cloud models available and what they mean from an operational standpoint.

Why employee awareness matters

In the past, the average employee was about as aware of IT as executives and senior board members - they knew they exist and would hear from them every once in a while with a new policy or procedure. But that was the extent of the traditional relationship between workers and IT.

Cloud computing is systematically changing this. Many experts agree that one of the greatest challenges associated with the cloud is figuring out how to manage budgets when business managers will subscribe to new services without any oversight from the IT department. Furthermore, a significant number of companies have created self-service application portals that allow employees to browse approved services and select options that will help them get the job done.

This shift makes it essential that employees understand what the cloud can do for them. This not only takes power away from IT, it also makes efficient technology distribution much more important because the oversight that has traditionally been in place is no longer present.

Gaining necessary control

Business process management software can help IT departments gain some of the control they need when it comes to handling the operational concerns created by cloud computing, especially as it aligns with mobile and social systems. BPM provides underlying process automation. This allows the software to analyze the data generated using cloud applications, mobile solutions and social media sites, and enact any repeatable decisions pertaining to the information. For example, BPM can recognize if a cloud application created data that is relevant to another system, and ensure the other database is automatically updated.

These processes streamline IT by eliminating many of the integration tasks associated with making sure the cloud works with other enterprise systems. Because of this, IT is freed from many maintenance tasks and can devote more time and resources to ensuring overarching cloud plans, often put into action by end users, do not lead to excess costs or complexity. Through this process, BPM software makes IT a more responsive business unit.

Malcolm Ross

Vice President of Product Marketing