CIOs Need New Skill Sets To Deal With Cloud

by Muqbil Ahmar    Jul 11, 2017


Cloud computing is taking the world of Information Technology by storm; figures are testament to the fact. According to a report by Bain & Company, cloud computing revenue will increase to $390 billion by 2020 from $180 billion. This is a CAGR of 17%. Plus, 48 out of the Fortune Global 50 companies are adopting cloud for various IT applications.

CIO VMware Bask Iyer says in a blog that the cloud is the biggest industry disruption that has been seen in years, adding that CIOs will need to get their heads in the cloud to help their company successfully and safely navigate the journey.

Unravelling the meaning of cloud shift for a CIO

For years, the chief information officer (CIO) has been a purchaser of software and hardware; administrator of maintenance, implementation, and security of IT infrastructure.

“They were technical people who made things work.However, with the advent of cloud, that will change. As the spread of the Internet (both 3G and 4G services) and level of digitization increases exponentially, the immediate impact of cloud shift is on the CIOs. Theywill transform from a keeper of technology to a real chief, who manages data in the same way as a CFO looks after the finances of a company,” says Shashank Dixit, CEO, Deskera.

Forces behind the spread of cloud computing

Cloud computing is set to continue on its high-velocity path as business shifts from legacy to cloud-based systems and an increasingly higher number of organizations adopt digital business strategies. Cloud-based applications indeed offer better functionalities and connectivity options than legacy systems. Moreover, organizations get the opportunity to access technology which is reliable and affordable as companies increasingly compete to be better, cheaper, and faster.

From the CAPEX model to the OPEX one

When CIOs appeared in early 1990s, they were enablers of technology and digitalization. Massive capital allocations were used to be made to give companies a competitive edge even though technology changed rapidly. Premise-based tools ensured that increasingly bigger proportions of budgets were dedicated for acquisition of equipment. However, that changed with Cloud. What was CAPEX earlier became OPEX. Cloud computing has taken responsiveness and agility to a new level. Thus, pushing CIOs from a technical to a business-oriented role.

CIOs need to adapt to changing technology

CIOs have to understand the functions they support to rapidly put up not only applications and infrastructure but also to customize them. The change warrants a new set of skills for a CIO. Despite the fact that they need to retain an essential understanding of IT infrastructure and architecture but that per se will not be enough. The star CIO will have to showcase an intuitive understanding of finance, marketing, operations, HR as well as other functions.