Stop following and start leading

Follow The Leader

Are you following or leading the pack?

Business leaders today are increasingly demanding many new IT services to support innovative business opportunities. For example:

  • Sales leaders want their teams to access customer and sales applications anywhere, anytime, and from any device;
  • Finance leaders need tight control over expenditures, with budget discipline and predictable costs, especially from IT;
  • Human Resource leaders want greater freedom to onboard new staff and new applications to enable staff mobility and location flexibility;
  • Strategy groups want to access new markets through organic penetration, mergers and acquisitions, or geographic expansion;
  • Partner, agent, and channel leaders need to rapidly onboard new partners with instant access to all the systems and software they need to be effective;
  • Marketing leaders want to connect with new customers in new ways, including social networking, online communities, and viral media;
  • Business owners want to drive higher revenues, reduce overall costs, grow the business, and increase shareholder value.

As technology innovation becomes ever more central to business innovation, the pressure flows onto the shoulders of today’s CIO. Yet they are not being offered more resources to deliver these innovations, nor are their existing systems getting easier or cheaper to own and manage. So the modern CIO must try to meet this ever-increasing demand for innovation, despite their own ever-decreasing capacity to deliver innovation. This is the “new normal” for today’s CIO – and this gap between business demand and IT capacity is only getting wider.

There is no doubt then that almost every business, from the smallest startup to the largest enterprise, will increasingly rely on cloud computing, because cloud – whether private, public, community, or hybrid – promises to close this gap. Cloud computing can help drive workforce mobility and mobile device support, with portable apps and data that are accessible from anywhere, anytime. It can help deliver new revenue faster through more rapid service development and delivery. It can help accelerate M&A by integrating shared workforce access to corporate applications and capabilities. It can help achieve geographic expansion with global access to systems and process even without local systems. And it can help maintain or even reduce costs, and provide cost predictability, by converting CapEx to OpEx and in many cases reducing overall IT costs.

So the only question for today’s CIO is this: when it comes to delivering on business demands, and using cloud computing to drive innovation, do you want to lead, follow, or get out of the way? Because if IT leaders do not take the lead on cloud strategy, business leaders will do it themselves – for better or worse!


What direction are you heading?

To survive and thrive, the CIO needs to take control and drive cloud strategy. They will need to discover and analyze their existing service portfolio to rationalize services where they can, and to choose the right cloud services for each application. They will need to understand how to automate and accelerate delivery of their own internal or private cloud services, and how to select, connect, provision, and broker external or public cloud services. They will need to ensure performance, availability, and uptime for cloud services, across public, private, and hybrid cloud, to assure a positive user experience no matter who is providing it. They will need to ensure security of identity and data, both inside the firewall and beyond, to ensure compliance and data confidentially. And they will need to be able to manage cloud usage, cost, service levels, and more to ensure business-centric cloud service delivery.

This is the subject of my latest webcast recording on cloud computing – Stop Following, Start Leading: How CA Technologies Helps You Drive Cloud. In this webcast, I cover all of these details and more, with insight into the specific disciplines, capabilities, and solutions that IT leaders will need to drive their cloud execution – and of course, how CA Technologies can help.

Please click through to check out this new webcast. I hope you find it useful and interesting. Please let me know what you think – as always, the comments section is open for business!


This post was originally posted on’s Cloud Storm Chasers blog