Retaining Visibility And Control During Transformation To The Cloud

Cloud Computing

Unless you have been sleeping for the past few years and missed it, you know there is a fundamental transition underway with the role of the CIO. The CIO role is rapidly transitioning and becoming more of a business service portfolio manager as the IT function rapidly becomes that of a service broker sourcing services internally and externally.

Pivotal to the success is giving the CIO access to accurate and up-to-date business service and investment level information, ensuring a holistic view of the entire service portfolio that includes new service ideas and requests, current service development initiatives, provisioned service catalog performance, and retired service history.

This transition mandates that visibility and governance is required within the transformation process to reduce costs and cycle times, optimize the return on investment through aligning the service portfolio with business strategy, and balancing resources and business risk.

This change is also challenging the traditional role of project and portfolio management. Instead of long-running organic IT projects that are developed internally, IT will now be running projects that incorporate the integration of multiple suppliers and partners required, much like your car being assembled on an assembly line with all the relevant components available at the precise time and position to meet to outcomes. Essentially, becoming a service that can be consumed.

But how can we ensure that we are building the correct service with the correct components? When is it time to turn the service off, how do you communicate with your business partners and suppliers while making effective fiscal decisions? These are all prerequisite portfolio decisions that need to be made.

For optimal results, the focus of the CIO must be at the higher, portfolio level. Effective portfolio management will allow the CIO to collate current and future strategic goals and benchmark performance on an ongoing basis in real-time, delivering the levels of accountability and traceability demanded by the business all while linking business trends with new technology (an area too many IT professionals forget to keep an eye on).

If you consider the current environment, the consumerization of IT is driving IT transformation, with tablets and other mobile devices, widespread access to connectivity and ever decreasing business cycles and automation.

Cloud computing and virtualization are key transformational technologies that assist accelerating the delivery of information and services to business users, but they are not the reason for it – a subtle yet important point. Business trends, including mobility, business social networking, globalization, and merger and acquisitions are driving this transformation.

Previously, staff simply had to interact in the workplace with technology. Now, the CIO must deal with satisfying the growing demands of the increasingly tech-savvy business user who now want the same level of usability and flexibility in the workplace as they experience in the home.

IT as we know it is transforming – will you want to be part of it, or will the transformation leave you behind?

Robert Stroud serves as a vice president and the Service Management and Governance Evangelist at CA Technologies. Robert also serves as an International vice president of ISACA and was the former chair of the COBIT Steering Committee and is part of the Framework committee. Robert also serves on the itSMF International Board as Treasurer and Director Audit, Standards and Compliance and leads the itSMF ISO liaisons to multiple working groups.