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Smart Enterprise: Greater Expectations

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oday's CIOs have access to massive amounts of bandwidth and computing power — anywhere, anytime. As a result, the old imperative to create IT systems on-premises is fading away. The incredible flexibility of virtualization technology and cloud computing is providing options that didn't exist a decade ago. In many ways, these changes couldn't have arrived at a better time. Virtualization technology, cloud computing and other emerging technologies are effectively creat- ing a new IT supply chain, one that enables CIOs to meet the growing demand for quick, efficient creation of business services. To be sure, these changes also create man- agement challenges. In the new IT supply chain, security, governance and performance monitoring all become more complicated, and more urgent. Also, some (if not all) of the IT department may need to acquire new skills. CIOs may even need to hire from the outside to fill new positions with the word "cloud" in their titles, despite the fact that the very ease of using the cloud — for some services, all you need is a Web browser and a credit card — means that business managers can now obtain IT services without their CIO's involve- ment. In fact, a recent survey, conducted by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by CA Technologies, found that as many as half of all IT workers aren't confident that they know which cloud services their companies use. What's a CIO to do? These recommenda- tions can help you turn the challenges of the cloud movement into benefits: Get help creating and leveraging the IT supply chain: Start with an assessment. Examine the business services you now offer, test them and determine whether there are better or cheaper ways to deliver these services to the business. Even if you end up keeping most of your IT in-house, this is a valuable exercise, and one that every CIO should conduct twice a year. Expand your options for legacy applications: While they're easy to forget, legacy apps still need to work smoothly; employees still want to receive their pay- checks on time, and suppliers still want their invoices paid properly. Consider seeking out new suppliers of legacy services, such as traditional outsourcers, cloud-based apps or some other alternative. Explore cloud-based options for testing, research and other exploratory work: In the past, when CIOs wanted to test a new system, they needed to rent or buy servers. That capacity can now be pulled from the cloud, with the work being sent as virtual images. Create frameworks to help ensure your security in the cloud: With the right frame- works in place, security can be an enabler for cloud use, and one that positions the CIO as a true business partner. Without them, you could find that IT is moving too slowly for the business, putting your business at risk. Monitor IT performance carefully, but in new, dynamic ways: In the past, CIOs could obtain service level agreement reports on a weekly or even a monthly basis. No more. Today, if a cloud-based supplier is falling below its SLAs, you need to know about it immediately. Ensure that your IT function continues to evolve, moving higher up the value chain: One way is to use virtualization technology and cloud computing to free up costs for both labor and infrastruc- ture. Then increase your IT staff's focus on the business. By leveraging today's new technologies in these efficient, cost-effective ways, CIOs can also become trusted technology advisors to the business. The timing couldn't be better. ■ PHOTOGRAPH: COURTESY OF CA TECHNOLOGIES Leadership Perspective T Virtualization, the cloud and anywhere, anytime computing are transforming the CIO's role. These changes couldn't come at a better moment. | By Dave Hansen The Best of Timing Dave Hansen is the General Manager, Customer Solution Unit at CA Technologies, and the company's former CIO. To hear more from Dave Hansen and other experts, visit Smart Enterprise Exchange at 54 SMARTENTERPRISEMAG.COM

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