The IT landscape is changing rapidly. Just two decades ago, the role of the chief information officer (CIO) was significantly different, with all applications stored on a user’s computer and the network protected with clear boundaries protected by a firewall. Today, cloud transformation dominates the role of the CIO, presenting new opportunities and challenges.
CIOs are increasingly in critical positions for driving business objectives with technology. From improving agility to impacting the customer experience and boosting productivity, the CIO makes a significant contribution to the strategic direction of the enterprise.
It also comes with a great deal of pressure, because for each success in the area of cloud transformation, there are security concerns and new networking challenges. Take a look at four areas a CIO must keep in balance for a successful migration to the cloud:
Global Collaboration: The strategy for cloud transformation cannot be an IT initiative alone. It requires buy-in and involvement from across the organization, with the CIO acting as the champion of the project or series of projects. The purpose of the transformation is not limited to technical advances, but will instead drive business objectives and requires involvement from line-of-business managers to identify areas where productivity, collaboration, and agility can be improved through cloud solutions.
Security: In many cases, the cloud solution will be more secure than its in-house counterpart, but it isn’t an automatic event. The design and deployment of the cloud solution must be completed with security policies integrated throughout. The CIO must also understand, document, and address which aspects of security are handled by a cloud provider, and which are the responsibility of the enterprise. For instance, the provider may secure their solution, but the enterprise is still responsible for securing the data residing in the cloud solution.
Mobility: The number of remote employees is growing, and the CIO must consider ways to create a consistent user experience for remote access. Employees must be able to work from anywhere, utilizing cloud solutions that allow them access as long as they have a valid login and an internet connection.
In addition to utilizing enterprise systems, CIOs are also managing the security and maintenance of a fleet of mobile devices. Bring-your-own-device programs are attractive, because they remove the cost of maintenance or procurement of mobile devices, but they also introduce complex security questions around securing a network.
Networking: The above concerns serve to add a new level of complexity to the network, leaving CIOs wondering how to secure a network with disappearing boundaries while offering the agility necessary to add or remove cloud solutions. Keeping the network at pace with business decisions means networking strategies are playing a more significant role in driving business goals.
For this reason, many enterprises are turning to software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN), because it offers the potential for network optimization through increased agility, pathway segmentation, and reduced costs. SD-WAN places a virtual overlay on the physical network, centralizing visibility and control for simplified management, troubleshooting, and configuring.
Managing a cloud transformation well requires support for the CIO. At eXemplify, we guide your successful transformation by leveraging the best cloud solutions for your enterprise and helping you optimize in areas such as networking and cloud security. Contact us for more information.