Cloud Computing – new roles in IT
// Cloud Computing, IT Processes and Organisation, IT-Outsourcing, IT-Strategy
There is no question: the cloud is here to stay. What it is, what use it has and whether it should be welcomed or feared is being discussed everywhere. Cloud computing will be a fundamental component of the future of IT. Sceptical voices are becoming quieter and we are discovering that processes, technologies and organisations can work together with the changes brought about by cloud computing and the discussion is generally taking place at a procedural or technological level. The effects upon organisations and possibly upon company strategies appear to be secondary, at least as perceived by the public, although it is particularly in those areas that the greatest changes can be expected.
Depending on company size and strategy, as well as on the way in which IT is operated today, there are varying degrees of transformation processes expected with the advent of cloud services. Challenges facing employees will change and new roles will be generated in IT processes.
For IT departments that are handling all tasks today from requirements analysis through to the implementation of their own solutions, migration of IT to the cloud can have substantial consequences and with an appropriate reduction in operative activities it could, in individual cases, lead to the closing of entire departments. On the other hand, entry into the cloud will generate additional roles, responsibilities and departments. Thus, the control of the cloud provider must be established and the necessary processes be adapted or generated.
Cloud managers, cloud brokers and cloud service management will have to answer the open questions surrounding the interfaces between cloud providers, integration from cloud services into the existing IT landscape and the dynamic change of cloud-based resources that are deployed. The incorporation of these new roles into existing IT organisations is a fundamental criterion for the acceptance and success of the cloud concept.
Cloud computing can also be taken as ‚the industrialisation of IT‘. In that respect, many new opportunities will open up for IT service providers. The provision of database, development and application services as added-value services and the use of the modern visualisation strategies bring with them the opportunity to become independent of hardware manufacturers. The skills of service providers will develop from the simple provision of an infrastructure to the supply of a complex application architecture.
Partnership models between companies will gain in significance. The trusting relationship, open communication and management of these company relationships will also provide opportunities to service providers to offer new services, in particular in the implementation of hybrid clouds and the use of public clouds.
Cloud Computing – a double-edged sword
In addition to high cost pressure which is exerted upon IT, business requires the ever faster preparation of solutions and systems. The facility of virtually offering standard solutions on an ad-hoc basis and only paying for what you use is fascinating for business.
On the other hand, there is the expense of transformation projects that will have to be carried out by IT and possibly increasing expenses required for the monitoring of the cloud providers. Furthermore, it should be noted that cloud providers offer standardised solutions and processes to a very large degree. To what extent individual business requirements are covered by this, is questionable and must be examined in individual cases.
Companies using more than commodity services for IT will have to examine for themselves to what extent cloud services should be integrated into their IT environments. Companies that migrate their IT to cloud providers face the challenge of almost concurrently handling organisational change, personnel restructuring and complex projects.
Cloud service providers need to provide clearer answers to the questions of security, governance, service and downtime risk in order to survive in a market like Germany, which tends to be critical. And it is the answer to these questions that will be decisive for the further development and acceptance of cloud services.
All companies need to examine the organisational, personnel and procedural changes.
From the aspects listed, it is clear that cloud computing is considerably more than just a technical innovation and is gaining ever more acceptance in practice, although there are still some unreserved questions for which answers must be provided.