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Smart Enterprise: Greater Expectations

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entitled "Leading in Times of Transition: The 2010 CIO Agenda," the author observes, "They have aspired to this shift for years, but economic, strategic and technological changes have only recently made it feasible." The CIO's role is changing, too. For one, CIOs need to manage this new cloud- enabled IT supply chain. That could require some new ways of thinking and working, as IT's role shifts away from pure design, building, and implementing and begins to incorporate elements of brokering, selecting and monitoring. "Cloud then becomes part of a CIO's portfolio," says Pearl of Price- waterhouseCoopers. To accommodate this change, CIOs will need efficient and effective processes for assessing, selecting and monitoring service providers. "Aside from gathering all the per- tinent data about the service their suppliers deliver," says Gregor Petri, Cloud Computing Advisor at CA Technologies, "CIOs will need tools that interpret and integrate and show what it all means for the business." So what happens to all those legacy IT systems? In the short term, at least, IT depart- ments will continue to manage what can now be called the internal side of the IT supply chain. In fact, most estimates say that 60 to 80 percent of all enterprise IT resources are now spent on simply "keeping the lights on." But by deploying virtualization, automation and internal cloud technology, IT will be able to move to new and heightened levels of agil- ity and efficiency in delivering this business value. They will be able to do it more cheaply and quickly than ever before. By fighting on two fronts simultaneously — making internal systems more efficient by implementing an internal cloud, and sourcing new solutions as a service from cloud providers — IT has a good shot at achieving one of its longest- standing goals: to become a true driver of competitive advantage, rather than simply a cost center. Sourcing solutions as services from the cloud adds several new tasks to a CIO's duties. Take security and support. Ensuring the security of customer data, for example, takes on a new complexity when that data is with a third-party supplier somewhere on the cloud. Ditto for support, says Petri of CA Technologies: "If a company sources three services from the cloud and, some- where between these, one does not work, then who is going to fix it? You will need someone to coordinate that support, since you don't want your user to have to call all three suppliers only to hear that they feel it is not their fault or problem." IT will be tasked with integration, too, experts say. For instance, if multiple IT solu- tions are needed to provide a single business service, it will make sense for IT to be the one that coordinates integration of those components into a reliable service. Costing, too, is likely to become an IT responsibility, including charging, checking invoices and matching service providers' results against what was purchased or leased from them — even counting the transactions. At Alibre, CIO Sukhatankar says that before any cloud-based offering is brought into the IT supply chain, the IT group must vet the offering for availability, reliability and security. "All those factors are obviously very important to us, just as they would be for any business," he says. Similarly, Williams of Ball Corp. says he's already gearing up his IT staff for these new roles. He wants his staff to move from being technology generalists to becoming cloud- savvy specialists across the IT supply chain. In part, this will mean gaining competency in To help CIOs move to the dynamic IT supply chain, Jay Fry, VP of Marketing, Cloud Customer Solutions Unit at CA Technologies, offers these five recommendations. Following these guidelines can help CIOs make the transition to the cloud-enabled supply chain as seamless as possible: 1 Gain insight to compare: Start by gaining insight into your current IT services — both internal and external. "The cloud computing space has evolved so quickly that you have this 'Wild Wild West' effect, where it's anybody's game," Fry warns. For this reason, most CIOs will need a standard way to describe what IT is doing now with the cloud, not just in terms of cost, but also in quality and other intangible characteristics. If that's the case for you, compare that with what other sources might be able to provide. 2 Connect to expert knowledge: Gain access to relevant data about cloud services, feedback about those services, and best practices from your community of both peers and experts. This will help you decide whether, when and how you should use the cloud for a specific application or capability. 3 Cloud-enable resources: In formulating any cloud decision, it's important to align the set of available IT capa- bilities (budget, staff, systems and infrastructure on hand) with the technology available to them. That can mean virtualizing servers for building a private cloud, for example — or comparing external services available in the cloud against what IT is already doing in-house. Fry says you will also need to strategize about which cloud models offer the most benefit to the business and how to implement them as well. That's true whether you go with a private, hybrid or public cloud — or a soware as a service (SaaS) model, platform as a service (PaaS) model, or infrastructure as a service (IaaS) model. 4 Challenge your choices: Aer selecting and implementing your cloud technologies and models, continually optimize along your IT supply chain, both on the internal side — budget, staff, systems and infrastructure — as well as the external. Do this as you assemble service providers from the cloud to serve business requirements. Then, to stay aligned with changing busi- ness demands, constantly challenge and reassess all your choices. 5 Deploy, manage and secure: Cloud services must be secure, manageable and controllable. They must also meet all your relevant compliance rules and regulations — all while providing the necessary business value. Even aer you have moved to the new IT supply chain, these suggestions should still be useful. That way, you will ensure that you're constantly improving the IT supply chain over time. "The right answer now," Fry says, "is going to change tomorrow." – L.L. SUPPLY CHAIN ACTION PLAN 16 SMARTENTERPRISEMAG.COM

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