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Role of “The CIO” in a New Technology Age

By:Christine Fettinger

While some businesses might question what place a CIO may have in their new changing work environment, the position is still as important as ever. Despite some differences in responsibility, much of the work, in fact, remains similar. With companies moving to the cloud in order to reduce IT costs, the new role of CIO is still very important and hands-on.

What is ‘Moving to The Cloud’ & What Makes a CIO So Important in the Process?

the cioThere are several different ways a company may move to the cloud. It can simply mean that a company has chosen to move their custom applications from on premise data centers to an off premise data center. Alternatively, in some cases, you may see custom applications being completely replaced with SaaS applications, where service providers make applications available to a company through online means.

As the cloud takes over and a new technology age emerges, some changes to the role of CIO may include:

  • Negotiating and purchasing hardware was required when CIOs dealt with on premise data centers; this would require understanding of server configuration, communications and networks. Post-cloud CIO work still deals predominantly with communications and networks but understanding of annual fees and SaaS contracts is increasingly important.
  • Custom applications, which CIOs have created development processes to handle, can be expensive to both build and maintain. With off premise data centers, SaaS applications can still be customized, but CIOs can take advantage of platform upgrades and improved mobile functionality. Essentially CIOs will become Chief Intelligence Officers to understand and evaluate the flow of data through SaaS applications.
  • On premise data centers required CIOs to be responsible for security as well as disaster recovery plans. It was also important to manage access to applications and user groups; moving off premise requires implementing new identity management tools, as well as new methods to manage groups and application access.
  • In the past, CIOs had to find technologies that were compatible and discover resources to better develop those technologies. In SaaS applications this is much easier, but a CIO must still develop an overall strategy for success. Important now is understanding and implementing the integration of SaaS applications.
  • Pre-cloud, CIOs managed help desk and escalation procedures and worked with data center employees to solve issues. Businesses still need help desks, but they now co-ordinate with SaaS applications to catch and fix issues.

Change can be daunting for any company. Switching over to the cloud will lead to changes in business process and a CIO is integral in insuring that a company continues to run smoothly in the midst of evolution. Users’ needs can be met with less expensive resources, which the CIO will use to manage the flow of requests from vendors. The smooth management of change is a key part of moving a company’s IT to the cloud.

Worried about who’s going to handle the process of switching over to the cloud?

The role of a CIO is changing, and every company in the new technology age requires a CIO to keep their business going. CyberStreams offers virtual CIO services – acting as your guide in the evolving world of IT. To learn more, give us a call at (425) 2_74-1121 or send us an email at sales@cyberstreams.com.