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Why is it vital that companies have a cloud architect?

In this Ask the Expert, analysts James Staten of Forrester Research and Kyle Hilgendorf of Gartner explain why companies need the services of a cloud architect.

In part one of this four-part Ask the Expert, cloud experts James Staten, principal analyst at Forrester Research, and Kyle Hildendorf, research director at Gartner Inc., defined the role of the cloud architect. In this second part, they explain why the role is vital for companies today.

James Staten: It's really important because every company, whether they realize it or not, is probably already using at least three cloud services, and I can almost guarantee that one of those services is connected to something in the data center, which means that you're already a., hybrid, and b., exposed. And it's not like you're going to stop at three cloud services, and it's not like your company is going to stop building new service capabilities. So, the sooner you start doing this in a managed way and in a consistent way, the greater efficiency you're going to gain from the use of cloud.

Kyle Hilgendorf: I have enough client conversation evidence to support that, yes, cloud happens organically through the business units and maybe in pockets of IT, but it's done in kind of an ad hoc fashion. It doesn't have a whole lot of structure around it. More times than not, when a program is organically occurring that way rather than being led, there's a lot of issues, a lot of frustrations, a lot of lost opportunities for economy of scale. So, it's just like any other major strategic decision: You've got to have somebody running point on it.

In the third part of this four-part ATE, learn about the specific skills required of a cloud architect.

James Staten

About the authors:
James Staten is vice president and principal analyst serving infrastructure and operations professionals at Forrester Research. He advises IT leaders on public cloud platforms, CIO-level cloud investment strategies, cloud economics, hybrid cloud and cloud outsourcing, IT cloud readiness, and business and developer engagement on cloud.

Kyle Hilgendorf

Kyle Hilgendorf is a research director in the Gartner for Technology Professionals (GTP) program and is the agenda manager for the consultancy's cloud and virtualization strategies team. He covers public cloud and hybrid cloud, with a focus on cloud technology and providers.


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Do you agree that companies need a cloud architect to take charge of cloud strategy?
Strongly, now and if we go back in years the IT itself was a question for business strategy, do we relay need IT or Computer engineers for our business ? same thing now for the cloud and and whole ITaaS.  
It’s vital that a company have someone take charge of cloud strategy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they need a cloud architect. Granted, a cloud architect would likely have a larger view and a deeper understanding of elements that are involved, but that may be overkill for a small company that has a very small cloud presence, and does not plan to expand on that cloud presence.