I think we all recognize the permanence of the cloud by now. It tops many IT strategic roadmaps, because it impacts the technology organization and the business. It is a powerful enabler of both people and of digital initiatives. And the analyst-forecasted growth in cloud and SaaS apps indicate that adoption is only going up.
The three most important strategic pressures for the enterprise are also influenced by the cloud:
- Digitalization demands that organizations move faster, do more and do it more transparently than ever before;
- Across the board, resource budgets are tight, so those demands for more are often being fulfilled by fewer people across wider geographic swaths; and finally,
- The omni-availability of SaaS applications for just about every imaginable niche and need that is not business-critical.
Cloud applications are ideal for maximizing efficiencies across minimum resources, helping teams speed work and streamline collaboration, among many other critical capabilities. And when business needs to keep speeding up, the lure of a painless, immediate implementation is hard to ignore.
This perfect storm of immediacy, access and quick fixes, however, is creating two significant issues for the IT organization.
1. The business is going it alone
Problematically, the business often feels forced to move so quickly that it’s cutting IT out of the decision loop. Going rogue to cloud application vendors feels natural to business decision makers who are used to choosing apps that help them buy coffee, movie tickets, even real estate, on mobile devices. Doing it for the office simply feels like an extension of what they’re already doing.
What many are not considering is the cost – real and potential. By not leveraging IT, they’re losing out on the benefits of application integration. They’re bringing into the enterprise applications that could pose a real security risk. And they could well be duplicating applications that exist in the infrastructure.
2. IT is out of the loop
The business only sees the goal line (read: the bottom line), and getting there faster. Meanwhile, IT is not seen as the leader it should be in digital execution and integration. Further, if it doesn’t get involved in the decision process that will evolve the organization on its path to digitalization, the IT organization will lose the opportunity to be a stakeholder as opposed to a maintenance organization.
Clearly, there are gains to be made by both sides of the house by working together.
Reconnecting as partners: The time is now and the job belongs to IT leadership
There are ways to reconnect IT and the business on this vital topic. Obviously, the technology organization can force the issue, but this will not result in long-term partnership. Eventually, the business will likely create new Shadow IT problems.
Ideally, the two organizations will work together collaboratively, with IT using its technology expertise to educate the business on the real concerns of going rogue, and how it can use IT to its own, and the enterprise’s, advantage.
Recently, Headspring’s Chief Architect, Jimmy Bogard, and I were a part of an eWeek eSeminar in which we shared specific steps to make the IT/Business partnership work, and to reassert IT’s leadership over all things cloud in your enterprise. A recording of the presentation is now available to watch on-demand and the slides can be downloaded. Take a look to uncover:
- Why speed is CRITICAL in being proactive to reset the conversation
- What one essential step you MUST take before anything else
- Why IaaS should NOT be part of your strategic plan
Here at Headspring, it’s been our privilege to develop SaaS applications and entire cloud platforms for hundreds of clients, so we know what it takes to see around corners and spot the pitfalls. Now is a delicate time for many enterprises as they negotiate the complexities that surround cloud and SaaS issues.
I hope you enjoy this timely webinar recording and the companion white paper, Lead or Get Out of The Way: IT’s Role in Guiding Cloud Decisions is up to IT (For a Limited Time).
Do you need cloud expertise? We love a good challenge and our team is one of the best in the industry. Reach out and let us know what we can do for you.