http://tinyurl.com/af3ftbx - Good paper, however, I am amazed at how quickly CIO's priorities change when they are called by the CEO / COO to assist in a legal discovery, and the ECM strategy has been on the back burner...The CIO's priority changes to finding a new job overnight! ECM strategy never features as a top 10, however, legal discovery is one of the biggest issues facing companies at the moment! - Ewan Macaulay
2011 was the year that cloud computing flexed its muscles and made its way onto the agenda for the CIO’s 2012 strategy weekend away. Organizations are now being forced to look at the cloud tidal wave as it redefines the IT landscape. A rule of thumb that I always use when looking at trends that will shape the industry going forward is when the major players such as IBM, Google, Microsoft, HP and Oracle declare open warfare on each other. The fallout from this is huge technological leaps that can be acquired by an organization relatively cheaply because of the competitive landscape. We are now at this point with announcements being made on a daily basis of new services and offerings, and for once the major players are trying to play catch-up to the company that I believe started the trend, Apple. This however, is a discussion for another day!
I believe that the following trends are going to be forefront of the cloud revolution in 2012.
The Hybrid cloud
As much as Cloud vendors like to believe, their solutions do not cover all aspects of the enterprise. The plethora of applications available may well provide the overall functionality required by the enterprise but regulatory framework prohibits certain data from being stored outside of the organizations control mechanisms. This framework will force a hybrid design with the applications that logically fit in the cloud residing there and the applications that logically reside within the physical organization, being excluded from the cloud and the appropriate relationship between them being established.
I remember when the first 8086 IBM desktop was purchased by the organization I worked for, and the bold prediction was made at the time that we were looking at the end of the mainframe and 3270 terminal, or more accurately the end of the central processing center. With the advent of terminal servers, browsers and other technologies the talk at the coffee fountain was that the “terminal” was on its way back! Looking at the product offerings from Google and Microsoft with their cloud services, it makes no sense at all for organizations to retain the operational costs of in-house mail servers and the liability of managing desktop software licenses. Exploiting the offerings from these two competitors offers major benefits to organizations, in terms that non-IT people understand, all available via a browser! …….Deja vou?
It is my strong belief that the advent of the cloud phenomenon is all thanks to Apple. Google and a number of other players have laid claim to this right, however, no company has played the role of changing the consumer’s behavior like Apple, and I am referring to the organization as the consumer, not the man in the street. As a technology consultant, I have seen a radical change in the mobility conversation over the last few years. When deploying technology for a client, a large portion of the engagement was about the technology, and predominantly focused on risk mitigation and environmental stability. Every now and again a lone voice would rise up from the second row, usually from a junior product manager who would ask about mobility. This was dealt with swiftly by the CIO and the victim would retreat with tail between the legs.
Apple has radically changed this conversation, the availability of functionality that is available to the mobile user, and the fact that the mobile device has become the new battle ground for market share, has elevated this conversation to the CEO. No longer can the CIO conveniently sweep the conversation under the rug, he now has to face it head on! Apple’s mobile devices have dramatically changed the business landscape, and for organizations to compete in this space, they need to embrace the cloud, and what it represents.
As the cloud encroaches on the fiefdom of the CIO, the role of the Risk and Compliance department is going to take on a new importance. A lot has been written by bloggers recently about this point, and makes for interesting reading, however, in brief, the Federal regulatory framework in place is outdated when it comes to the world of cloud based data. Acts such as the Patriot act give the Fed the right to access any data in the cloud and analyze the data without having to tell the data owner that they are doing so.
Understanding where data is, and how it is being secured is going to be key to the adoption by an organization.
CEO's not CIO's have to get sight of the fact that research is showing that companies with effective ECM strategies are 78% less likely to be sanctioned by the courts and 47% less likely to find themselves in a compromised legal position as a result of an e-Discovery request. Makes business sense?
CIO's..is the data that you have committed to the cloud stored within the national boarders of your country by your service provider..or has it been moved to a low cost center in another country?