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CIOs and Cloud Services – Reinventing the value of IT

HPE-SW-Guest on ‎05-14-2014 03:47 PM


Guest post by Sherry Ramm, ITSM Marketing Consultant


One of the hot topics of the day is how CIOs and their teams must take on a new role of forming partnerships with their business users to source the cloud applications they need to do their jobs.  The traditional role of dictating or controlling what the business uses is no longer viable.  If IT presents too many obstacles or hurdles to value, LOB managers will unilaterally get the cloud applications they need from outside and move on to using them in their job.

While the new era of cloud brings drastic changes and some growing pains, it also opens exciting new doors for CIOs, business users and even the cloud application solution providers.  And as fast as IT can embrace and forge a new way to harness the power, the faster they will elevate to a more relevant role in the organization.


Users *going rogue*: Going south without IT


Today, the trend of Shadow IT is no secret. Cloud services have provided an easy on-ramp for anybody in a company to adopt new tools without IT.  Exacerbating the problem is that cloud providers have been an enthusiastic enabler prospecting business users directly looking to quicken the sales cycle with a direct sign-off from the business decision-maker wanting to expedite getting tools to do their jobs.


But the tide is changing – there’s been a cause and effect of “renegade” purchasing of IT services and now all parties involved are coming back to center.  The LOB manager has found that purchasing without IT involved can lead to exposure they hadn’t anticipated:

  • First, most companies have risk mitigation controls and auditors that will routinely check that requirements are met and correct sign offs have taken place. 
  • Secondly, the manager that signed up for it may not be able to orchestrate the actual user adoption and may even run into obstacles and problems they didn’t anticipate—thus losing money and efficiencies for the company. 

All of this has cloud providers thinking twice about bypassing IT because it doesn’t help their cause if their business customers get into trouble down the road with regulatory and compliance issues.  Nor does IT appreciate that provider instigating an “end run” around IT so future business may be compromised.


The value of IT for LOBs wanting cloud applications


The truth is, CIOs and their teams bring much to the table when evaluating and adopting a cloud service offering. They can help with:

  • End-to-end process modeling
  • Analytics and data flow
  • Risk management
  • Integration, project management
  • Change management and user testing 

IT can also help smooth the road to user adoption of a cloud service often hampered by compliance rules.  They can also ward off problems before business users balk and do things on their own without any regard for compliance.

While this is all goodness, CIOs can’t go too far. If the process is overly cumbersome or takes too much time, the business will lose patience and go back to “rogue” shadowing to get whatthey need, when they need it.  A balance must be struck to satisfy the IT requirements while delivering a reasonable time to value for the business.  


Cloud applications – shifting IT from operational to strategic value


Cloud applications give CIOs and their teams a great opportunity to climb higher up the value chain. Essentially if IT can spend less time in the weeds of managing data center operations, and more time focused on strategic initiatives that can help their companies grow, they shift to a more relevant organization the company.


Whether your strategic goals are:

  • To harness mobile, cloud and social to drive business value,
  • To automate for extreme efficiencies and transparencies, or
  • To finally ditch yesterday’s technologies for a simplified IT that drives innovation and performance

The time is now to take the steps in a forward-thinking direction.  There’s work to be done but it’s not easy to drive new initiatives while your resources are tied up keeping the lights on and avoiding any disruption to the business. These factors all present a challenge for the CIO.


The transformation in the area of IT services to the users of the organization begins with IT taking steps to reinvent their relationship with the business. It must be a partnership based on effective communication and mutual goal alignment and good old fashioned respect that shifts the perception of IT in the minds of the LOB managers.  This shift brings a new style of IT that will set the stage for the years to come allowing the business users to stick to business and bringing IT to the critical consulting role that will ensure operational excellence while expediting business value.


HP Propel is a common starting point where our customers begin to on-ramp at their own pace to a new style of IT that transforms reactive IT into a fully-automated, true service broker.  HP Propel’s open framework harnesses cloud technology for easy integration and management of cloud services from external providers seamlessly working with your own on-premise services. No rip-and-replace. Your users get to shop and self-serve for all their IT needs within a single portal and central catalog. Get Propel Free now and expand capabilities as you wish. 

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