CIOs Guide to Cloud

A CIO's Pocket Guide to Cloud Integration

CIOs can make the difference between a smooth cloud transition and a veritable disaster.

Wondering what your role is in your company’s transition to cloud? It’s vital for CIOs to take the reins on key cloud decisions.

Transitioning a traditional on-prem company to a cloud solution is undoubtedly complex – there are questions of cost, platform, security, and alignment among business units, to name a few. Amidst all these variables, the CIO must step up to provide a company’s cloud roadmap. Eric Carr, head of Cloud Applications & Integration, shares four steps for success:

Build a Blueprint

The CIO needs to be the one to provide a cloud blueprint for the organization. Developers often will just go with what they know from a tool perspective, not bearing in mind the larger implications for the organization. CIOs should ensure their blueprint includes policies and procedures for applications, migration, integration, and security/privacy.

 Avoid the Wild West

In many companies, business units are going in disparate directions with toolsets. Your organization can’t run efficiently if it’s a total free-for-all with respect to permissible applications and platforms (this isn’t the wild west, after all). It’s the role of the CIO to put some guardrails around major areas and require the business units to comply.

Sharpen Your Tools

Often, even when CIOs do provide a corporate cloud standard within the organization, there are too many tools on the list. The right number varies based on the size of the business, but to a large degree it needs to be narrowed down. The focus should be on finding two or three tools to start with, test them out, see how they work, and then make changes as needed. There’s no need to remove all flexibility, but having a standard toolset accelerates cloud adoption throughout the organization.

 Communication is Essential

Cloud is evolving so quickly, it’s hard to keep up. The most important thing you can do, aside from creating a cloud roadmap, is to communicate clearly to the rest of the organization. Business and IT are often at odds, but the goal of IT is to help define corporate cloud governance to make the business side run more quickly and smoothly, while still ensuring security, privacy, and operational aspects of production services are addressed adequately. As the CIO, you have the greatest amount of control over whether or not your company’s cloud journey is successful -- and that starts with the business units' view of IT as either a positive enabler or a roadblock.

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