Editors' Cuts

Cloud Strategy Decision-making: Evidence of Closer IT/Business Alignment?

Carrie Burns
Insurance Experts' Forum, November 29, 2012

It’s a common question throughout a number of areas of an organization: Who is ultimately responsible for a strategy that heavily involves technology? As cloud computing shifts from hype to reality (see image), the same question applies. Whether it’s the right way to go or not, cloud decisions also are shifting from IT-made to business-made, according to a Capgemini report.

For its report, “Business Cloud: The State of Play Shifts Rapidly,” Capgemini interviewed 460 business and IT executives (in a number of industries, insurance included) and discovered a broad range of functions are now perceived to be involved in encouraging the use of cloud—from the board to legal, in addition to IT. Globally, cloud decisions are being made more and more by business managers (45 percent) rather than, or as well as, by IT (46 percent). In North America, 49 percent said the business unit makes cloud decisions, 43 percent said IT and 8 percent said a third-party.

According to the report, IT and the business are aligned on the importance of cost reduction as a cloud driver. Cost was ranked highest on the lists of both business and IT drivers (52 percent and 51 percent).

New applications and business initiatives are hitting the cloud first, with many “edge” solutions going straight to the new platform, almost as a default; 78 percent reported that new applications were their focus for migration. Legacy systems are mostly being left where they are for the time being.

The consulting firm says that cloud is now fundamentally driving the future of business and technology fusion—a phenomenon it calls Business Cloud. I don’t know that I’d go that far. Business and technology fusion has been driven by consumerization over the past few years, but the good news is that “Business Cloud” helps and is evidence that IT and business need and are moving to better alignment.

Carrie Burns is Editor in Chief for Insurance Networking News.

Readers are encouraged to respond to Carrie by using the “Add Your Comments” box below. She also can be reached at carrie.burns@sourcemedia.com.

This blog was exclusively written for Insurance Networking News. It may not be reposted or reused without permission from Insurance Networking News.

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