Urge to Step into Cloud Computing
We started to look at cloud computing a few years ago out of necessity and it has gradually evolved to become an important part of our IT strategy. When Hurricane Sandy hit our region, it forced us to evaluate our disaster recovery and back-up systems. This came at a crucial time for us as the company was experiencing unprecedented growth and we could not afford to have disruptions to our operations. While these factors provided us the impetus to consider cloud computing, we started to see the broader benefits that cloud computing had to offer in terms of flexibility and cost savings. Being able to have instant availability of resources on demand, as our business grew, we created more nimble operating model. Longer-term, I continue to see cloud computing (private) as an important part of our IT infrastructure and extending its applications across other parts of our operations, such as HR, drug safety, revenue management and legal, which use cloud-based (SaaS models) applications. As the head of IT, wearing my business hat when it comes to making IT decisions has become the norm. You hear many stories about systems failing and multi-million dollars wasted. A lot of times, the reasons point to the lack of understanding of the business. Technology is really a means to an end. Without understanding the business and the goals, technology alone will not serve any purpose.
“Without understanding the business and the goals, technology alone will not serve any purpose”
Guidance for Fellow CIOs
• Plan for the Long-Term: In the competitive environment, it is always very important to look ahead to support business scalability. You don’t want to be caught in a situation where technology infrastructure was the reason that prevented your business from growing.
• Believe in New Technology: It’s easy to get comfortable with what is working. But, with the rapid technological advancements and evolving business demands, you can’t afford to be left behind. You need to be on top of what’s out there, so you can help maintain your organization’s competitive edge. Of course, you have to always validate and test, but you should not be afraid to adopt new technology to stay ahead.
• Stay Close to your Business: Technology is an enabler of business. The best CIOs I have met are the ones who are business leaders, first, and IT leaders, second. It is an ongoing learning experience for me, but one that I have found to be rewarding and fulfilling.