The cloud – Unlocking new enterprise paradigms

The late 90’s saw the advent of online presence. Enterprises started realizing greater opportunities beyond the traditional brick-and-mortar business model. The millennium saw the momentum shift to “as-a-service” models. Organizations built business by leveraging innovative business models, low cost to entry and unbridled entrepreneurial spirit. Traditional powerhouses realized the sway in momentum albeit a little lately and in the process lost some ground. The cloud provides yet another such scenario and opportunity.

The cloud has been in existence for a while now. Most enterprises have a cloud presence. Often times, these are about standard workloads such as Email, Collaboration and Calendaring. The very best of them talk about sandbox environments to provide on-demand power and storage. Contrarily, enterprises have a strategic advantage with their IP. Organizations which nimbly adapt such IP would gain competitive advantage and realize greater benefits.

Though the cloud lends itself for “optimizing the cost” models, the larger benefit comes from “growing the revenue” opportunities. With the advent of the cloud, CIOs are now expected to play the part of a strategic executive who works toward bringing about business transformation through Cloud. The CIO is also uniquely positioned to aptly guide the leadership on the development and execution of a cloud strategy. The cloud provides a window of opportunity to CIOs, a unique and sustainable way to enable business value, innovate, and differentiate their organizations in the marketplace.

Enterprises have been gearing up for such momentum shift. During the recently concluded Mobile World Congress, Ford motors unveiled their connected transportation vision and how the cloud is a critical cog in such an initiative. Evolution in complimenting technology-enabled paradigms such as Mobility, Social Computing and Analytics are accelerating value. Importantly, such approaches are best realized by embarking on the journey jointly with business functions than attempted from the IT organization alone. It is imperative to look at the cloud journey holistically and evolve a value-based approach for creating a robust enterprise fabric. Creating a unified charter, aligning workloads to business functions, and adopting an incremental approach as part of the roadmap will optimally drive value realization.

Interested? The author expounds a prescriptive approach that Microsoft has distilled into seven major principles to realize greater synergy and deliver optimal business value.

As Mike Walker suggested in his earlier blog (The Evolution of Today’s CIO), the pressure to deliver beyond the traditional role of the CIO is evolving in to a key asset for CEOs. A blend of CIO as Optimizer, Transformer and Innovator provides a powerful profile mix that amidst the constant of change will emerge a stronger and more service-focused business partnership with IT. What better way to do this than identifying and realizing newer business opportunities.

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