People Process & Technology

People

First and foremost, success as an IT leader boils down to attracting good people. In today’s IT environment, it’s critical to have a broader set of skills across the team. Hyper-specialization is quickly becoming a thing of the past. MBS looks for individuals with expertise in business or cloud analytics, rather than strictly computer science or IT. The new world demands knowledge of multiple domains, an understanding that in the future the cloud is the new normal and, most importantly, a willingness to embrace change.

CIOs need to take a deep look into their organization and evaluate not only the technical capabilities of their team, but also the cultural and leadership characteristics of their key players. Successful IT organizations will be those who can be a true business partner to sales, marketing, finance and engineering. Enabling business innovation requires IT to have a deep understanding of the business needs and requirements across the enterprise, and the ability to deliver the right solutions quickly.

Processes

There’s an old adage that cars don’t have brakes so you can slow down, they have brakes so you can drive faster… more safely. Processes in the IT department are much the same – effective processes enable us to nimbly execute, deliver and grow our services for the business.

With the numerous public cloud and software-as-a-service solutions available today, we’re faced with more choices than ever. As such, it’s critical that teams understand our services, associated costs, and their ranking against alternatives. Therefore, we’ve implemented processes such as an architectural review board and detailed software development lifecycle maps to help us better evaluate the opportunities and challenges underpinning our decisions. We look closely at outside vendors and existing cloud applications to ensure that we’re taking advantage of the best, most cost-effective technologies, and we use processes to guide our experiments and bring rigor and efficiency to our testing procedures.

Technology

If you have the right people and processes in place, technology is arguably the easiest of the three issues to tackle. MBS began the cloud journey by virtualizing nearly 100 percent of our computing environment. We now have a more focused staff for doing more than keeping the lights on, such as working more closely with our business partners on meeting their needs.

Architecting for the cloud also better prepares you to support the consumer technology explosion. For a glimpse at what corporate IT will look like in the future, one need only look at the devices and social applications employees use in their home life today. Intuitive interfaces, collaborative environments, simple installs and updates, and secure access to data from any device anywhere at any time are just a few of the requirements of tomorrow. This sort of flexibility around technology ― balancing the tension between freedom and control ― is a hallmark of the tech landscape today.

Striking the right balance between people, process and technology transforms IT from a cost center into a competitive advantage. And CIOs who view the journey toward the cloud as an opportunity to be seized, rather than a trial to be feared, will be well positioned as transformational IT leaders of tomorrow.

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