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IT Departmental Shifts in the Cloud Era


Authors: Deborah L Anthony, Wiemer Kuik, Bert van Rjj; HP Helion

The classical application development is typically a long, mostly linear process, translating business requirements into IT functionality. Development cycles of 3-4 years are no exception. The creation process for larger applications is comparable to building a ship or an airplane. It is typically a project-based activity focused on financial and operational predictability.

Delivery of IT services, the operating of IT systems is an activity that focuses on reliability of execution, responsiveness and cost-effectiveness. As IT departments are a key support function of corporations, representing large operational business risks, they organize to maintain financial predictability and ensure controlled execution. The most optimal structure is the “bureaucratic” organizational structure focusing on supervision and subordination.


However, with the introduction of cloud computing and its requisite mobility applications a number of characteristics of the performance of IT departments change. Where in the past large monolithic applications were developed and maintained within the IT organization, with the introduction of cloud and mobility, IT is responsible for enormous amounts of small “apps”. These applications/”apps” are accessed most commonly from mobile devices which have very little business logic and serve more as front-ends to the multiple pre-existing back office enterprise applications. These back-end enterprise applications may range from transaction processing systems to employee portals to customer acquisition systems.


Mobile development and delivery is complex and requires a set of dependent services delivered in a coordinated fashion in a reliable and efficient manner. For enterprise mobile apps, release cycles and new feature releases need to be coordinated with those of the enterprise applications and services that the mobile apps interact with. Therefore, the existence of mobile-app teams as first-class citizens and participants, along with the rest of the enterprise software development, is becoming increasingly common.


To remain relevant for the Enterprise organizations, IT delivery must shift from an internal executioner to an integrator and broker of IT services. This implies that new functions emerge such as supplier integration, service management and a shift in the execution of financial management. Thus, one of the inherent changes in IT organizations in becoming service providers is the use of Multi-functional teams in developing applications. In its most mature state the multifunctional team structure is formalized using an application of High Performance work Team structures following Devops and SCRUM approaches.


Given the importance of team-based work in today’s economy, there has been much focus brought in recent years o pinpoint more accurately to the defining attributes of high-performance teams. We recommend reading:

To learn more about getting your organization ready for services-based delivery, watch this video



Senior Manager, Cloud Online Marketing
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About the Author


I manage the HPE Helion social media and website teams promoting the enterprise cloud solutions at HPE for hybrid, public, and private clouds. I was previously at Dell promoting their Cloud solutions and was the open source community manager for OpenStack and at Rackspace and Citrix Systems. While at Citrix Systems, I founded the Citrix Developer Network, developed global alliance and licensing programs, and even once added audio to the DOS ICA client with assembler. Follow me at @SpectorID

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