The Third Platform will force the CIO to evolve or face extinction

In today’s information age, the CIO has the final say in the world of corporate IT. Whether they work for an SME or a multinational monopoly, regardless of their IT infrastructure, CIOs must manage their IT empire as an insulated hierarchy with no opportunity to cooperate with other departments.

However, with every new development in cloud computing technology, invaluable tools such as data analysis, seamless mobility and instantaneous social networking are transforming the third platform from a business-conscious convenience to an essential part of any businesses’ IT management structure.

Collaboration is Key

Third platform technologies are evolving at an unprecedented rate. Individual departments are more equipped than ever to take control of their cloud solutions and increase their own productivity.

With other departments becoming more independent, the IT department has to develop accordingly or face the prospect of redundancy. The most effective way to do this is by adopting a more cooperative model for the department that suits the adoption of cloud computing.

The cloud is open to every aspect of a business because of its simplicity. This means that many newcomers to IT management may not be experts on programming languages and some IT managers may have never entered a line of code in their lifetime. This very idea might seem sacrilegious to veterans in the field, but they offer something that is just as valuable in its place; the ability and expertise to assess the benefits modern cloud computing software can bring to the table for every part of a business

Adopt a data conscious approach

It’s only a matter of time before companies adopt public cloud solutions as more and more businesses discover its ability to keep costs down and offer a competitive edge against rivals. In Barracuda’s recent survey, 45 per cent of the 900 participating IT managers across Europe plan to utilise public cloud to enhance their business in the near future.

The survey also identifies the two areas that can benefit the most from public cloud usage; distributed working processes and teamworking technologies. Both areas require the CIO to work alongside specialist departments whilst maintaining an outstanding knowledge base, so they can better understand how to improve each department’s performance. The CIO brings their specialist knowledge to the table too, working with other company branches to supervise bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and mobility technologies are running at peak performance through the cloud.

In short, the established role of the CIO is becoming obsolete as businesses invest in the cloud. As companies become more aware of the advantages of the cloud, the pressure on the CIO to embrace this new technology will only increase, so action needs to be taken now. The CIO needs to continue on as the driver for IT projects by taking ownership of these technological advances and successfully integrating them into their business.

Be suspicious

The added flexibility of cloud solutions means that businesses can meet the demand for IT resources quickly and without the need for advanced development procedures. The new challenge for CIO is to always be vigilant, constructing individual corporate networks to ensure that performance concerns do not override security risks. With more users active in the cloud, without proper management it can be vulnerable to unauthorised and even malicious developments.

This high level of suspicion is essential when using any kind of cloud solution, and will have to be built into the very infrastructure of the business in order to protect its data and ensure a fast-acting and effective response. Every detail must be scrutinised by the implementation of intelligent security gates, with any suspicious acts prevented and pursued.

Get on board

The CIO working in a cloud enhanced environment will work across every department to ensure that the business’ IT solutions are being utilised correctly, becoming involved in projects in every part of the company. In this way, the cloud not only threatens traditional IT positions, but traditional IT departments themselves.

For CIO’s, the role is likely to become a more strategic position, focusing on the implementation of IT and services for the company as a whole. As the hierarchy changes it is up to every IT leader to ensure their place is secured, not hindered, by the third platform.

Wieland Alge, VP and GM, EMEA at Barracuda Networks

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