We are experiencing the beginning of a profound transformation in the computational model and the role of IT. But it often is not clear to us. The reason is simple: we are in a period that we call the transition from pre-cloud to post-cloud.
But if we look at the signs of change, we find that now is a time when we begin to see the cloud computing model spreading and IT beginning to assume new roles within the organization.
Every change is surprising at first, especially when the paradigm is broken. Compares the changes to the models that are used and often do not realize that in the transition period, as experience today, the paradigm is not yet fully defined. The transition, as the name says, is transient, ie, it is not the model that will endure in the future. It is fleeting.
For clarity of the differences between the pre-and post-cloud models, let’s look at the current moment. This time we will call it as pre-cloud and is basically based on client-server architecture, with very limited use (almost embryonic) of cloud computing. It is a moment of evangelization market. In most companies, the IT department is responsible for costs and control of computing resources. It is a cost center. Its primary function is to support business operations, standardizing technologies and determining which ones may or may not get into the business. It is a model that both suppliers and buyers of technology have become accustomed and based on it, created a whole ecosystem. The companies plan to develop new applications or hire, acquire technology (hardware and software) and wait for a certain period of time (sometimes weeks and months) until physical machines are installed and the software is available for use.
The transition period already shows some changes. We started to see cloud computing becoming more widespread, but due to the questions and interests of the two sides (sellers and buyers), we seek a model that does not make radical changes. We note clearly the adoption of what is called hybrid clouds, with part of the computational requirements of the companies being met by cloud model (SaaS to IaaS) and even in on-premise model. That is, we see some solutions going to cloud computing while in parallel we see new hardware purchases and software licenses. But the IT field begins to stray from the paradigm of controlling the computing resources, moving many of them to external cloud providers. The consumerization of IT is a driving force to accelerate the shift shaft technology adoption in the enterprise IT users. We begin to see IT to focus more on standardization of services technologies. That is, instead of concern for defining technology standards, IT begins to look for patterns of cloud services. It’s a challenging period, because the major cloud providers try to impose their own standards as the factors in the market. IT should seek to concentrate efforts in adopting providers that are based on open standards, because the present is transitional and strategic vision will have to look at the long term.
Probably at the end of this decade or early next, we will be experiencing the post-cloud ie, the time will have no more sense to talk about cloud computing, but only because this will be the dominant computing paradigm. Of course when we talk about dominant model we are not talking 100% of that will be in cloud computing scenario. There will always be such specific demands and requiring the preservation of the current model in certain situations.
But when we are in this model, what is the role of IT? Most services will be in public clouds and larger companies will opt for private cloud services. One difference is that, the technological apparatus such as servers and middleware will be commodities. IT will create difference that is no longer supported by the business to be part of the business. It is the time to speak about the acronym CIO as Chief Information Officer will be so revealing of obsolescence as the title of manager CPD. We should speak in office as Chief Innovation Officer and Chief Digital Officer.
The post-cloud model is the “IT as the Business”, ie no longer have meaning debating whether or not IT is aligned with the business. IT is the business. The discussions will include corporate decisions and technologies since the beginning, since this will be increasingly invisible and ubiquitous. Technology is so integrated with the discussions as money for investment. Virtually any product or service, whether to clients or internal use, have built IT. Remember that we’re not just talking about IT as we see it today, basically responsible for the ERP and databases, but should include all new IT technology embedded in the organization, including operational, which is embedded in objects, cameras, sensors, etc..
IT will be seen as a revenue generator and not as a cost center. For this to happen, some levels of maturity should occur. First, it is undisputed that this new IT has operational excellence. And to achieve this, cloud computing is critical. The automation process that embeds cloud computing is essential to achieving this operational excellence. There will be no sense to IT spending hours or days of human resources to software upgrades or perform tasks that do not add value to the business. And in business areas, wait for weeks for a new computational resource such as a server …
Another level of maturity is the change in the profile of professional managers and IT professionals. The greater use of cloud providers, the less need for system administrators in-house. These will be concentrated on providers. The greater use of lower demand for PaaS developers indoors, since much of this task can be done externally. But knowing in depth about the business and leverage new products and services with innovative technologies and processes will make all the difference. This should be the posture and profile professional: to know and implement pro-active and innovative technologies that will make a difference to the business.
The language of IT must also change. Reduce costs and manage IT assets are being function providers. There will be a noble task for the new profile of IT. But to understand the business and discuss how to reduce fraud in banking and insurance systems, reduce the churn rate of a telecommunications company, reducing instances of “out-of-stock” retail and so on, is to be the IT hallway conversations and not about the operating system whether it is Linux or any other.
This is not a process that will happen one day to another. We will go and moreover, we are going through the transition period and the companies and CIOs should have a strategy to transform their IT center in results. Stand still and wait for the change is meaningless. They happen, like it or not.
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