Hidir Mag, Regional Vice President Systems Sales, Oracle Middle East and Africa
Cloud can be truly transformational, giving businesses streamlined, agile, scalable IT infrastructure that reaches across lines of business. But too often businesses fail to reap the benefits of cloud. Our research has found that the underlying reasons for this are often cultural or financial rather than technological.
Based on this, I have identified three key things organizations should do and three they should avoid in order to implement a successful enterprise cloud strategy that will see the business thrive now and in the future.
Organizations are often hampered by old-fashioned ideas about IT funding. Traditionally, IT procurement has been cyclical, with cycles for hardware refreshes, and time-consuming internal bidding for infrastructure changes. But 74 percent of respondents said their funding model must change to deliver greater flexibility.
A shift is needed in which IT is no longer considered a cost centre but rather a profit centre in which the contribution of lines of business to successful projects are clear visible.
Forty six percent of businesses suffer from ‘shadow IT’. Often duplicating existing services and difficult to integrate with the wider technology infrastructure, this is the embodiment of a fragmented approach to IT, and develops when line of business managers control a portion of the IT budget. It is more common than we might think: indeed, 66 percent of CIOs control less than half of their IT budget. This situation causes complexity and restricts the CIO’s ability to provide all lines of business with high quality, integrated cloud services.
Disjointed lines of business, which get on with their own work but don’t fully integrate with the rest of the business, have been partly enabled by the fact that they can purchase technology for their areas of work regardless of the needs of the wider organization. This approach is crucial in removing internal divisions.
The CIO can streamline the delivery of technology through an enterprise cloud model which provides platform, infrastructure and compute services across the whole business.
When lines of business have a shared understanding of organizational goals they work together to propel the business forwards. An enterprise cloud model, built on shared aspirations as much as a shared IT resource, will encourage all lines of business to truly act like members of the same team. The CIO should work closely with other C-level execs to encourage lines of business to work with IT and bring the organization together.
Budgeting is at the heart of achieving the transformation organizations need to truly capitalize on what cloud offers. IT should transition to an activity-based funding model, in which funding is tied to key projects and where the CIO and CFO control the purse strings. In this model it is possible to track investment in IT and the return it generates, to ensure IT spend works as hard as possible, and to eliminate complexity. With 95 percent of IT departments believing IT investment by lines of business adds complexity to the management of technology, this clearly needs to be addressed.
It is no longer enough for organizations to invest in cloud in a piecemeal way. Instead the CIO must take the role of ‘cloud navigator’, ensuring the approach to cloud is unified across the whole business.
They need to plot a course with cloud at the front and centre and no space for discrete cloud based silos.
Organizations have never had so much pressure to deliver quickly and cost efficiently. A well implemented enterprise cloud strategy, and a CIO who brings lines of business together into the shared ambitions of the organization has never been more important for success.
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