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As cloud adoption grows, so do tech leadership roles

Cloud's focus has evolved from lift-and-shift to supporting data-driven infrastructure. According to a recent Denodo survey, "IT is no longer the 'hired hand' of business."
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Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributor on
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Photo: Joe McKendrick

The nature and scope of cloud work are changing fast. There's a greater focus on data delivery, and the ability of cloud services to support data-driven initiatives such as artificial intelligence and advanced analytics. This means expanded and more visible roles for IT teams, who are moving from roles as cloud implementors to business consultants. 

These are some takeaways from a recent survey of large organizations by Denodo, which finds changes in the roles of IT teams in their cloud modernization journeys. "Getting trained to support cloud needs" is now the top role for IT, now exceeding last year's top role of "choosing the cloud provider." This suggests that "IT is no longer the 'hired hand' of business," the survey's authors state. "IT is a friend of the business, building bridges between IT, the lines of business, and executive management."  

While supporting Software as a Service engagement was the top cloud driver this year, it was followed closely by efforts to establish cloud-based data warehouses, data lakes, and lakehouses. These data-driven initiatives were cited as top projects by 48% of respondents. "Having migrated key workloads to the cloud, clearly a next step for many companies is finding a place to store the new data they then begin to acquire," the survey's authors note. "They are experiencing a common dilemma: 'Where are we going to put all of this new data we seem to be acquiring?'"

Hybrid continues to rule as the prevailing architecture -- for the third year in a row, hybrid cloud with 38% of responses, stands out as the top deployment model. Twenty percent are using public clouds exclusively, and 17% are employing multi-cloud approaches. "This underlines the fact that on-premises systems
do not simply sit idle when companies adopt cloud technology," the survey's authors point out. "Companies have many good reasons, regulatory compliance among them, for not simply abandoning on-premises systems when the technology landscape changes."

Issues being encountered include managing security, compliance, and governance of clouds (identified by 72% of respondents), followed by limited skills in managing cloud systems (62%). "Security, compliance, and governance will always be a challenge when first migrating to the cloud, as organizations will need a bird's-eye view across both on-premises and cloud systems, simultaneously, and will need seamless ways to implement security and governance protocols across both systems," the authors note. "Fortunately, modern strategies like logical data fabric can address these needs." 

In addition, the survey finds Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) running neck in neck for dominance of the cloud market. In the 2020 and 2021 surveys, Azure was a nose ahead of AWS. This year, AWS takes back its lead over Azure (45% to 26%). Another 8% deployed on the Google Cloud Platform. 

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