IT and business strategy — with cloud, they’re more or less the same thing

CIOs — and the organizations for which they work — must completely commit to delivering on a vision of IT/business integration that is now close to 30 years old. There needs to be institutional recognition at every level of an organization of the strategic value of IT.”

This statement from Dirk-Peter van Leeuwen in his recent piece for ZDNet, places CIOs at the centre of a struggle between IT and business — where the two are often still viewed as separate entities, CIOs are mediators, attempting to meld technology and operational goals. He describes how IT and business collaboration should ideally be the “default” way of working, and underlines the important role that IT has in the strategic direction of a business.

What’s the answer? We’d like to suggest that this ideal state of integration is something that could be realised via cloud. Indeed, we don’t think that cloud can be viewed purely as a technology — as we’ve written about before, cloud should really be seen as a business strategy.

Cloud computing: the business enabler

Forget about the clever bells and whistles (important as they are) and simply look at cloud as a business enabler — a route to your organisation working as you want and need it to, and as the market and your customers want it to.

Through helping our customers to adopt cloud, we’ve seen their businesses benefit from the flexibility that cloud delivers. Without being tied into long term hardware contracts, our customers can efficiently align resource use with demand, and they can press forward with speculative, innovative pilot projects, without the risk of committing precious capital.

This fluid relationship with the technology that drives their operations, means they can react quickly to new opportunities and afford their customers this same flexibility, which encourages business to be done; cloud makes it easier for everyone in the chain to work together, more spontaneously.

At the same time, their key staff aren’t bogged down with the daily grind of managing a physical infrastructure — time and skills are being put back into working on their business, as opposed to being greedily consumed within it.

The relationship in a sentence? Where we see agility in cloud technology, we see that agility transferred to a business.

How do you see the relationship between IT and the direction of your business? Are there challenges that your business faces that cloud could help to address? Get in touch if you’d like to talk!

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