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Cloud computing gives CIOs strategic value

Cindy Cheng, ​Sr. Director of Marketing Communications, EMEA, Appian
May 6, 2013

Cloud computing disrupts so many aspects of traditional IT departments that some pundits wonder what will be left for IT to accomplish once the cloud has taken hold. In theory, the cloud makes IT management tasks irrelevant, because the hardware and application environments are in third-party facilities. However, the operational changes created by IT have the opposite effect, and actually make IT more valuable to businesses. While the day-to-day management operations that have dominated IT in recent years are handled by cloud vendors, the strategic operations required in response to the cloud are enough to keep IT departments busy, and possibly make them even more important than they were before the cloud.

According to a recent Gartner blog post, CIOs are becoming instrumental in cloud plans because the overarching governance and strategic support offered by IT departments is still invaluable in the cloud era.

Understanding IT's value in a cloud world

To illustrate the shifting role that IT departments face, the news source explained one common cloud model that is failing. In many businesses, department leaders or managers will develop app strategies designed to help their workers. This sounds great. It means the sales people can establish an app environment tailored to specific departmental requirements. Similarly, marketing managers can roll out a software package of its own. The idea behind this app acquisition method makes plenty of sense because organizations can use the cloud to flexibly establish solutions to meet specific business needs. However, many sales managers, marketing executives or other department leaders end up going to the CIO to ask for help when the burden of managing the nuances of those applications is too complex.

CIOs and IT departments in general can play a major role in helping organizations keep up with the various challenges created by the cloud. IT leaders can also play a role inbusiness process management (BPM) investments that provide key support for cloud-focused operations.

Using BPM to support the cloud

Cloud BPM solutions can help organizations align their business processes to cloud capabilities in a meaningful way. The cloud is naturally attuned to this capability,as it makes it easier to select applications andservices that support various business goals. However, BPM can take that initial compatibility and maximize it by aligning processes across departments and stretching the cloud's benefits across the organizational landscape.

Cindy Cheng

Director of Product Marketing