Ten years ago, many CIOs had a negative opinion about cloud computing; few CIOs landed on the positive side. Cloud subject matter experts like me got walked out of the building on a regular basis.
These days it’s a career killer to not leverage cloud computing. Most CIOs now have at least 20% of their applications and data moved to the cloud with 10% to 15% scheduled to move in the next year or so.
With that shift in thinking, CIOs are now all in with cloud computing. However, I still hear some common complaints these days. Here are the gifts most cloud-using CIOs want to receive in 2022:
A single answer to cloud-related technical questions: Most CIOs ask consultants, cloud providers, and other technology vendors the same question and get a fundamentally different answer from each source. No matter if it’s how to implement blockchain, or how to leverage external data, the responses vary so much that CIOs wonder if they’re getting the answers they need.
Those who provide advice and answers do so with their own biases. They have predefined responses based on what they know, not necessarily what is correct for each enterprise’s situation. The risk of listening to them is that you’ll end up with something that works but is not the optimal solution. In some instances, CIOs could pay as much as 10 times more because they took the wrong advice.
Cheaper cloud security: You can never have enough security, right? Wrong. Security needs to mesh directly with the applications, data, laws, and industry processes that will provide you with the minimum viable security, which in turn will provide you with the best and least expensive security solutions.
Today’s cloud security bills are through the roof, with many CIOs taking on cloud security solutions to a point of overkill. This includes updated encryption, new identity management solutions, clever authentication systems such as biometrics, and of course, backup systems to protect against lost data or data that’s held hostage. Some of these items are required; some are not. It all depends on your individual situation.
Security vendors have the scare tactics down pat, and their horror stories scare the hell out of CEOs, CFOs, and corporate boards. It’s easy to get a bigger security budget these days. Interestingly enough, the overuse of cloud security technology makes things less secure because it increases complexity and thus increases the likelihood that you won’t properly leverage the security technology. Also, this complexity comes with a much higher bill.
Finally, skills on demand: Have you tried to find cloud talent lately? There is one qualified candidate for every 10 job postings. Many CIOs leverage just-in-time hiring to optimize the use of humans in IT, but that model goes out the window when it comes to cloud computing. The cloud talent shortage is so common that it’s now the No. 1 issue that prevents cloud projects from succeeding and/or finishing on time.
Everyone expects the supply versus demand for cloud skills to normalize during the next few years, but we’re 10 years in and I’ve yet to see a sign that balance will happen anytime soon. That means you need to be innovative with how you hire and retain talent if you want to win.
CIOs have tough jobs. They must continuously deliver in the most dynamic industry ever. They need a few breaks. In 2022, most CIOs want to get the right answers, the right security, and the right talent. What’s on your list?
David S. Linthicum is an internationally recognized industry expert and thought leader. His views are his own.
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