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Cloud Readiness: What CEOs Need To Know
2016-10-20 by  Kevin Castle

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The CEO hears it incessantly from his/her CIO in their weekly C-suite board meeting: “We need to get competitive and create a strategic architecture around our cloud computing technology.” Then, the landslide of questions begins: Public or private cloud adoption? A hybrid? Cloud migration? And what to do about effective integration? These and related questions are increasingly becoming a challenge for not just the IT executive, but the corporate chief is finding himself or herself intimately involved in making decisions about the company’s technology direction. According to a Forbes piece: “Close to two-thirds (62 percent) of 500 mid-market executives say their company’s C-suite leaders have ‘some’ level of involvement in the adoption of next generation technologies.” Yet, deciphering these complex subjects depends on the CEO being cloud-ready and understanding the key tenets of the technology, as well as its promise and pitfalls in key areas, including:

  • Security
  • Cost of Ownership
  • Building / Architecting solutions
  • Integrations

One fact is clear: cloud computing is here to stay. According to a CIO article, “93 percent of businesses are using cloud technology in some capacity.” The dollars tell a similar story as according to a Forbes article: “The worldwide cloud computing market grew 28 percent to $110B in revenues in 2015.” So CEO’s are already using and talking about the cloud, and here is what they are thinking.

 

Security

Proprietary information and data protection are the foremost priority for the executive. Cloud and security just a few years ago were thought to be inherently incompatible based on the newness of the innovation, its non-centralized infrastructure and multiple points of access according to a Forbes piece. Now, just a few short years later, advancements in: “policy-based firewalls, encrypted communication, multi-factor authentication, automatic backup and identity and access management controls” provide a high-level of confidence for the CEO to move more of the company’s information assets to the cloud.

 

Cost of Ownership

The CEO and CFO are concerned with the return on investment (ROI) on their cloud spending. According to a Forbes piece, a survey of businesses found “cloud computing improved profits by an average increase of 22 percent, and an average cost reduction of 23 percent.” And while those numbers are impressive, they should not all fall to the bottom line. Astute executives will leverage some of those profits and cost reductions to drive more innovation within the organization.

 

Building/Architecture Solutions

A common query for the CEO is whether to utilize a public or private cloud technology. According to the CIO piece, “88 percent of businesses are using public cloud technology, 63 percent are using private cloud and 82 percent have a hybrid cloud strategy.” According to a Wired article: “management visibility, control, security, privacy, and physical data proximity” are pros for a private cloud option, while scalability, “the speed of access to resources and the pay-per-use model” are public cloud benefits. The answer for each company will be different based on their needs and capacity however, the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model is one that is gaining considerable traction in IT departments across industries.

 

Integrations

Despite the wide adoption of cloud technologies, integration remains a challenge, according to the CIO piece. Depending on the criticality of the functions a firm is using the cloud to implement, integration complexity will vary. According to CIO: “59 percent of respondents used the cloud for storage; 48 percent used the cloud for business continuity and disaster recovery and 44 percent for security.” Resources for aligning and building a cohesive integration infrastructure is dictated by not only the number of end-users, and but also by the size and complexity of the organization’s footprint in terms of both geography and market presence.

 

Conclusion

More than ever before, the CEO must be engaged in the company’s IT cloud dialogue and to be effective, the CEO must become conversant in the costs, challenges and potential benefits of moving to some form of cloud-based technology infrastructure. While the nuts and bolts of provider, specifications and capabilities are the purview of the CIO; the strategic direction of how the business will utilize the cloud, its financial implications and the potential impact on innovation in the ecosystem are concerns that the chief executive must address in that dialog.

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Author

Kevin Castle

As a Principal Partner of Technossus and CTO, Kevin Castle has been responsible for the engagement and technical delivery for every executed software project. His ability to focus alignment of technology offerings with the rapidly changing demands of the industries has been instrumental to the company’s impressive growth trajectory. In his role of CTO, he stands at the helm of the technical delivery side of the business, ensuring the standards, practices, offerings, and success for our client engagements. A core member of the senior executive team, Kevin plays a crucial role in determining Technossus’ strategic direction and making decisions that will guarantee both near and long-term success. Prior to Technossus Kevin held various roles in Enterprise Architecture, Technology and Project leadership, and has implemented millions of dollars of worth of software solutions. Kevin is a passionate leader, committed to fulfilling the Technossus mission through the relentless pursuit of success. Kevin received his Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science with an emphasis in Artificial Intelligence from San Diego State University. He later graduated with his Master Degree in Software Engineering from Cal State University of Fullerton. He is a current member of Vistage International.

Founded in 2008, Technossus is a privately held, award-winning software, solutions and technology consulting firm headquartered in Irvine, Calif. Technossus experts create enterprise applications and immersive user experiences, while collaborating with clients to ensure the highest level of confidence and success. The firm’s rapid growth as one of the nation’s fastest-growing technology solutions providers is attributed to its commitment to delivering exceptional value and quality to every client—every time. Driven by top technology talent across the globe, Technossus strives to be the most respected and trusted consulting firm in the industry, and to consistently exceed expectations and deliver solutions that cost-effectively enhance operational performance, transforming businesses to achieve their goals for success. For more information, visit www.Technossus.com.

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