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CA and IDG say cloud computing is enabling a more central role for IT

CA and IDG study indicates that cloud computing is redefining IT's role to that of supply-chain management and require IT staff members to acquire more business skills.

CA and IDG recently published a small study shining light on how large company IT decision-makers see the impact of cloud computing on their future activities.

What CA has to say about this study

CA Technologies released a new study, in conjunction with IDG, indicating that cloud computing is enabling a more central role for IT in shaping business strategy and driving innovation. It also highlighted the cloud’s impact on how an organization will re-define IT skill sets, with a demand for more business and management experience.

The study polled 200 IT managers in the U.S. and Europe at companies with revenue of $500 million or more. Some of the key highlights include:

  • 54 percent acknowledged the current value of IT is largely defined by its role as owner and operator of IT infrastructure but feel that within two years, the primary value of IT will come from managing the IT supply chain.
  • 50 percent of those surveyed indicate that an increase in cloud-based services, particularly those that were formerly managed in-house, has contributed to this evolution.
  • 66 percent cited the ability to manage service providers as the IT skill that is most likely to increase in importance over the next two years.
  • Nearly 70 percent  agree that an increasing number of CIOs and senior IT staff will have a business (as opposed to a technology) background in the future.

In the future, respondents anticipate new IT titles dedicated to cloud computing and vendor management will emerge. When asked to predict what these new titles may be, sample responses included: Cloud Architect, Cloud Service Manager, Cloud Integration Specialist/Expert, Executive Vice President of Cloud Technologies, as well as several others.

Snapshot analysis

A well constructed study that includes the answers from 200 respondents can shine light on what a larger population is thinking. This study includes the answers from 200 IT decision makers from large companies in both the U.S. and in Europe.  I was pleased by the fact that the analysts kept the scope of the study in mind when presenting the results. They didn't let themselves over reach or segment the results beyond what was supportable by the data.

IT decision-makers in large companies are beginning to see cloud computing as a useful tool to help them increase the organization's agility, reduce costs and, potentially, be able to field much larger computational power than their budget previously would have allowed.

They also understand that they would have to reconsider how IT accomplished its goals and move to a more business-centric position. Their suppliers would need to have to technical know how to address issues.

I was interested in the obvious transition that has happened in the mindset of IT decision-makers. In the past, these decision-makers have been frightened by cloud computing. It appears that they thought their role would be sharply diminished. Now it appears that many have come to see the opportunities adopting this style of computing. When outsourcing IT talent first appeared in the industry discussion, I saw a similar pattern of change.

I'm thinking that this move would play to BMC's, CA's, IBM's and other management software supplier's strengths.  That, I would guess, is the real reason for publishing this study.