The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long. And you have burned so very, very brightly, Roy

As someone who has lots of friends in various IT positions in all kinds of sectors, you’d be amazed how often when we chat about cloud that this innate fear of outsourcing. Yes, I admit for some reason Klout rates me as influential about outsourcing…probably a bad sign. But honestly, it’s a pretty rational fear when you think of it. IT shops, especially those who have some kind of security function, have always been been a little anxious with MSSPs constantly trying to add value to their departments. And now cloud comes along, and the same conversations come up: am I at risk of having my department outsourced to a cloud provider?

It seems like when it comes to capital investments in IT we have been in perpetual recessions, and CEOs and CFOs are constantly looking at ways to reduce costs. Part of that train of thought tends to fall on whether there is value (read: cost savings) to offload the whole IT team in favor of a managed solution rather than do individual layoffs. Unfortunately, this means that the CIO is probably spending way too much time justifying the value of IT, and if you have hungry shareholders, there is a risk that cloud is looking a little too enticing. After all who wouldn’t want a full solution that delivers cost savings up-front in exchange for predictability in operating costs? What the CIO doesn’t know is that cloud means you can throw in the CIO as part of the outsourcing deal. Oh,and cloud providers will make these services VERY attractive which just adds to the pressure.

But fear not, with cloud CIOs who run the risk of being outsourced have a great opportunity to look like a saviour to the organization. By transitioning the IT department into an internal brokerage, they can match the best services and cost structures to implement an in-house solution that operates at the same cost levels as an outsourced solution. Additionally, by transforming their department to one that creates value and can bill in-house departments to that the OPEX is shared across the whole organization, not just carrying it under the IT umbrella. This means more innovation and more (hopefully) budget to create projects that increase organizational value (and shareholder happiness).

Whether accepted or not, the role of senior IT leadership will change with cloud. Many IT roles will change. In order to survive the transition that it brings you need to start thinking about what role you want to play in the process and work towards that role, or risk being outsourced.

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