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Cloud Computing to Redefine Fundamental Role of Middle East CIO, shows Brocade Research
Role to be more strategic, operational and consultancy oriented as opposed to current IT infrastructure administration
January 28, 2013 8:56 by Colin_Saldanha
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates; January 27, 2013 – According to research commissioned by Brocade that surveyed 100 Chief Information Officers (CIOs) from across Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), the role of CIOs will undergo a fundamental and drastic change leading up to the year 2020. The IT administrative role will evolve into policy enforcement, technology evangelism and mediation between business units and IT service providers by 2020.
As cloud computing gathers increasing momentum, market research and advisory company IDC projects cloud spending in the UAE to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 43.7% over the five-year forecast period ending in 2016), operational structures within organizations are undergoing transformation. Democratization of IT will see the ownership of cloud deployments and IT procurement processes moving from the responsibility of the IT department to that of the various business units that require such services. This will be the main driver of the evolution of CIO’s functionality.
Sufian Dweik, regional manager, MEMA at Brocade says, “No longer will the role of the CIO be restricted to basic IT administrative functions, but his role will merge with that of the COO as he takes on a strategic operational role and broader responsibilities. As the onus of outsourcing IT services will rest with the business units without engaging the IT department, the CIO will be less involved with the ‘nuts and bolts’ of the IT infrastructure, but will play consultant and mediator.”
Interestingly, more than a third of the CIOs surveyed confirmed that cloud services had been deployed by business units in their organizations without the involvement of IT, and two thirds see business units procuring cloud resources by themselves much more by 2020.
“There are a couple of challenges that CIOs are faced with in the above scenario. Firstly if Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) do not meet minimum requirements, the consequences could be disastrous. Secondly, the underlying business-critical network, which ‘enables’ all business communications, activities and transactions, could be under considerable strain as it becomes difficult to predict bandwidth requirements and data volumes. The possibility of network downtime, productivity and business loss and compliance issues become an increasing reality.”
Dweik further stresses the business-critical aspect of the corporate network infrastructure and says that it needs to be agile, resilient, future proof and scalable so that it can handle spikes in data volumes and traffic. “CIOs need to work closely with infrastructure vendors to ensure that they have the latest infrastructure in place or the consequences can be significant and financially damaging,” he says.
The CIOs role of policy development and enforcement arises with the increasing uptake of mobile devices and the growing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend. Security and regulatory compliance issues will need to be combated with appropriate risk management strategy. An interesting insight from the Brocade survey shows CIOs believe that BYOD will not lead to the death of the ‘physical office’ as we know it, but ‘hot-desking’ will increase in popularity.
Brocade® networking solutions help the world’s leading organizations transition smoothly to a world where applications and information reside anywhere. From data centers and enterprise campus networks to the service provider core, these solutions are designed to simplify network infrastructures through innovative technologies.
About the Study
The research was conducted by the independent research firm Vanson Bourne. 100 CIOs from organizations with between 250 and 3000+ employees from across EMEA (UK, France, Germany, Middle East) were surveyed during September/ October 2012.
Brocade (NASDAQ: BRCD) networking solutions help the world’s leading organizations transition smoothly to a world where applications and information reside anywhere. (www.brocade.com)
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