The Industry Speaks about Cloud, Part III: business and IT finally agree – IT must tool-up to enable cloud business services


Savvy CIOs are developing themselves into Cloud-enablers by honing their sourcing and service integration skills. Our Cloud Business Services study, conducted in conjunction with the Outsourcing Unit at the London School of Economics, contrasts many differing views and expectations from business and IT executives about Cloud business services… however, both sides do agree on one thing — the crucial enablement role that IT executives must adopt in order to provision Cloud business services.

While business execs are more gung-ho on Cloud than their risk-averse IT counterparts, both sides agree on who should enable this – it’s going to be the IT function. The survey reveals that 42 per-cent of business respondents expect to rely extensively on their own in-house IT function to implement a move to the Cloud:

The bottom-line:  Cloud business services creates a massive opportunity for the IT department to realign itself to the business

HfS sees the future of the inhouse IT function as being the conduit between the business and the providers delivering Cloud business services.  The successful IT executives will be those who develop governance expertise in sourcing and service integration to make Cloud a reality.

Business stakeholders want Cloud, and they know smart CIOs can mitigate their risks.  However, HfS believes IT professionals must tool-up to deliver cloud to their business stakeholders, otherwise they risk a gap growing between business demand and IT supply. Tooling-up for the Cloud calls on CIOs to develop new internal skills and embracing third-party expertise to accelerate the sourcing of Cloud services.  Security, compliance, and integration are huge issues that predicate success with Cloud, as our survey will reveal when released later this week. Running due diligence on service providers is critical to ensure any potential cracks in service delivery do not cataclysmically impact performance.  Stay tuned for more…

Posted in : Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Captives and Shared Services Strategies, Cloud Computing, IT Outsourcing / IT Services, SaaS, PaaS, IaaS and BPaaS, Sourcing Best Practises, the-industry-speaks



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  2. CIOs have to confront the Cloud issue by:
    1) Taking responsability and offering leadership, or
    2) Getting prepared to see their position devalued

  3. Very telling data – I look forward to the full analysis of this study.

    Cloud brings new challenges to IT, as you suggest, but I also believe it gives it a very powerful opportunity for IT executives to get more involved with business process and aligning apps with the needs of the business user.


  4. Carlos is correct – and I would go a step further in viewing the onset of Cloud as presenting a make-or-break scenario to many CIOs. As the business becomes more aware of the functionality they can have available in the Cloud, and see what counterparts are doing in other organizations, that are further along with Cloud provision of apps, they will demand results from their CIO. As you mention, if inhouse IT can’t deliver, there is always the option to look more closely as external suppliers,

    Rahul Sethi

  5. Great data HfS! Kudos for running such a comprehensive survey.

    Interesting to note here the lesser intentions of business executives to turn to consultants for help, and go straight to the provider. Does this indicate consultants are not convincing clients of the value they offer with Cloud-enablement, or is it simply too early in the evolution towards Cloud environments?

    James Wheeler

  6. @James: I think the lack of “interest” in using consultants is two-fold:

    1) Many companies only tend to spend lot of money on transformation projects such as Cloud, when they are ready to pull the trigger and desperately need external independent advice to fulfill immediate needs, such as finalizing a business case evaluation, or selection of a service provider. It’s quite typical in outsourcing, where many clients only turn to consultants once they have already made the outsourcing decision and need real operational help in scoping out an RFP and getting to a contract with a provider;

    2) Most of the consultants are not doing a good enough job getting their value-message to market. Clients to not have hours and hours to read white papers and dial in to webcasts everyday – they want quick, compelling, insightful coaching and guidance, and want it served up in “digestible” chunks! Lisa Ross discussed here that they are struggling to embrace new social channels such as blogs and networking communities to convery their value to market,


  7. Interesting article. I completely agree with the point of bridging the growing gap between business demand and IT supply.

  8. […] advantage. Part three showed the level of agreement between IT and business was improving: business and IT finally agree – IT must tool-up to enable cloud business services. Finally, in part four, we discussed why business leaders demand business transformation support […]

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