How Cloud Computing is Drastically Changing the Life of a CIO

How Cloud Computing is Drastically Changing the Life of a CIO

“The cloud presents one of the biggest industry disruptions in years. And while you may be sick of talking about it, CIOs need to get their heads in the cloud in order to help their company safely and successfully navigate the journey,” says Bask Iyer, CIO and Executive Vice President, VMware in a blog.

Bask is not off the point. Cloud computing has taken the world by storm and figures are testament to it. According to a research report by Bain & Company, the cloud computing revenue is predicted to increase to $390 billion in the year 2020 from $180 billion. This translates into a CAGR of around 17%. Additionally, 48 out of the Fortune Global 50 companies are moving towards cloud adoption for various IT applications.

Why is the Cloud Shift Happening?

Cloud computing will continue to gain momentum as businesses shift from legacy systems to cloud-based ones and as increasingly greater number of organizations keep pushing for digital business strategies. And, it is not entirely without reason. Cloud-based applications offer more connectivity and functionalities than legacy systems. Moreover, enterprises get an opportunity to access technology that is reasonably reliable and affordable as they compete with each other to be increasingly cheaper, better, and faster.

What Does the Cloud Shift Mean For a CIO?

For a long time, the CIO has been mostly the purchaser of software and hardware; the administrator of their maintenance, implementation, and security. They were basically technical people who made everything work. But now with the advent of cloud computing all that is set to change. As the reach of the internet (including both 3G and 4G services) and levels of digitization rise exponentially, the most immediate impact of a shift to the cloud will palpably be on the CIOs. They are now forced to transform from merely a keeper of technology into a real chief, managing data as an asset of their organizations, much in the same fashion as a CFO manages the finances of a company.


When CIOs made their entry in the early 1990s, they were enablers of technology and were the main drivers of pushing an organization on the path to automation and digitalization. No wonder, massive allocations of capital were needed to be made in order to give companies an edge even as the technology changed swiftly. Premise-based software and tools ensured that increasingly larger portions of the organization’s budget was dedicated to it. However, all that changed drastically with the advent of the cloud. Earlier, what was considered CAPEX transformed overnight into OPEX. Cloud computing is making business responsiveness and agility possible to a point where it is pushing the CIOs from a purely technical role to a more business-oriented role.

How Can CIOs Adapt to the Changing Technology and Times

CIOs of today have to understand the functions they are supporting, so that they can rapidly put up not only the applications and infrastructure needed to push new ideas into the market but also to customize them before launching. This fundamental change entails a new set of skills for the CIO. Although they will have to retain an immediate understanding of IT architecture and infrastructure but that per se would not be enough. The star CIO would additionally have to bring to the table an intuitive understanding of marketing, finance, operations, HR and other functions.

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Muqbil Ahmar

Muqbil Ahmar is Executive Editor at Grey Head Media, spearheading the digital presence of the websites and ...

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