Today, no company exists in a vacuum. Social media and collaboration are becoming tools for business engagement. Enterprise cloud computing facilitates the use of social media and shared collaboration with partners, for greater competitive advantage. An Enterprise cloud can provide a virtual community, where business and IT employees from the company can work with each other, or interact with their counterparts from partners, vendors, even clients, allowing everyone to work together to resolve problems, speed decision making, or adapt to competition. With Enterprise Cloud computing people internal or external (partners, vendors, clients) can function as a single organization.
What’s involved in rethinking enterprise IT and turning it into Enterprise Cloud IT? For one thing, this change will demand a change in mindset as well as processes, for the enterprise. The whole organization can be disrupted… technology, people and processes will all be profoundly affected. The control of services will be shared, fewer IT people will be needed, and processes will change. And perhaps the biggest change to mindset could be the democratization of business dialogue within the Enterprise cloud.
The newest youngest generation of IT workers are far more versed in the usage of Internet based community and social interaction then perhaps, older management. Social media over the cloud may well democratize interactions among all workers with management. Business and IT people can speak directly to each other. Problems that used to be reported bottom-up through the corporate hierarchy, can now reach management directly, so problems can be identified on the fly, and the creativity of the whole organization can be harnessed to find the best solution quickly. With a flattened corporate hierarchy, management needs to be fully on board. You might want to look at our blog: Do Social Media and enterprise architecture coexist well?
But besides collaboration, what about Innovation? Isn’t that what we hope will grow our organizations and increase our bottom lines? Enterprise Cloud IT has the potential to reduce risk and startup expenses for innovation initiatives, allowing businesses to sandbox more new ideas quickly, and scale them up rapidly, should they be successful. So, Enterprise Cloud offers more opportunities for innovation at much less risk, while leaving more resources available for innovation. Whether an enterprise will actually be able to leverage its Enterprise cloud implementation to innovate more/or at a higher rate than previously, remains to be seen. Please look at our blogs on Innovation: Chasing the next best idea since sliced bread! And Life changing tech innovation starts with lots of failure, but for a purpose.
These are all big changes to make, but they promise great advantages as the result. It would be naïve to assume we can use traditional Enterprise IT norms in its adoption. There are more risks, and the questions we need to ask before pushing forward into enterprise Cloud are far more invasive. How far are we willing to change internal processes that have served well, for many years? What will be the toughest thing we need to change? (You might want to listen to our recent show:Where are you on the cloud maturity model?) Will there be more and better innovation out of the change to Enterprise Cloud? Listen in on December 28th, 2011, when CIO Talk Radio hosts CIO guest panelists discussing: Turning Enterprise IT into Cloud IT at 9 AM CST. And please take our survey: How prepared is your IT department to make the transformation into cloud?