Is the phrase cloud governance an oxymoron? On the face of it, many readers would be inclined to say yes. How can CIOs be expected to take charge of the safe and efficient use of cloud computing in their companies when a hefty percentage of cloud tools and services in today's enterprise are procured on the sly -- IT's sly?
That's the question posed in this month's CIO Decisions cover story on cloud governance. As SearchCIO Senior Features Writer Karen Goulart reports, business users, app developers, any worker who needs compute power and needs it now is out there shopping willy-nilly for cloud services.
The traditional CIO response to shadow IT, I've been told, might be to dismiss these unsanctioned buys as point solutions, there to meet an immediate and narrow need and not something that would upend IT strategy or of CIO concern. But that was BC (before cloud), when computing systems were largely on-premises and under the command and control of the IT department. Now, as Goulart outlines, a sounder strategy is to know
thy users, learn from them and develop a cloud services strategy that not only meets their needs but -- here's the clincher -- also does their cloud shopping one better. Just don't expect the mission to be easy. As Goulart points out, "grab a pith helmet … it's a cloud jungle out there in the business."
In fact, if there is a unifying message in all of the stories in this month's e-zine, it's that the enterprise IT services challenge is not for the faint of heart. When you've finished absorbing the lessons of our cloud governance story, be sure to take in Goulart's profile of Tom LaPlante, a CIO in search of the balancing point between high-risk technology and reliable IT services. And if you're in a Halloween kind of mood, check out my column on the wolves howling at every CIO's door.
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