We’ve all seen the clichés regarding cloud and business, I’ve even written a few. It’s not that they’re wrong, at least not in all cases. More appropriately it’s that I don’t think the future for IT in the business has been effectively verbalized.
Will modern IT, let’s call it “Cloud” enable business to forget IT when making strategic decisions? I know it sounds odd to suggest the business should “forget” IT, but I will explain. In a recent blog about the data center being a 15 year business plan I talked about how the business is often put into a position of making strategic decisions based on the inflexibility of IT solutions, specifically data centers. As a company, how can you allow any IT decision to determine where and how you do business? It just doesn’t make sense.
IT in the Way of Business
I’ve been a part of the problem in the past. I can’t remember how many times I’ve bemoaned the fact that the business didn’t effectively consider IT before making a decision. I always wanted to be front and center during M&A discussions or plans for growth, because the more I knew, the better I could prepare my team, and the infrastructure. I also wanted to be able to explain what we couldn’t do, so that our executives wouldn’t promise too much to a customer, an acquisition target or a new partner and therein lay the problem. The business should be able to forget IT, they should be able to look at the business opportunity and determine its viability solely on its merits, not on whether IT can keep up. However, I’m not trying to say IT should become invisible. On the contrary, the need to have IT working “in” the business has never been more important. Who better to translate a business process or work effort into a potential IT solution than someone who understands how IT can be applied? If you’re the type of CIO who is waiting for the business to call you and tell you what they need, you’ve already lost the race.
The Vision of Fluid IT
Why is “Fluid IT” different from Agile IT or any other definition of modern cloud operating model phrases? I’m not sure Fluid IT is so much different, as it’s maybe more thorough. Many of the traditional assumed benefits of a cloud operating model are as follows:
- Rapid deployment of new workloads
- Try before you buy
- Buy only what you need, only for as long as you need it
- Get out of the business of running infrastructure and instead deliver higher level strategic value
- Greater flexibility in technology adoption strategies
- Lower costs (maybe)
- Greener (maybe)