Your Cloud Success Requires New IT Roles

Why does IT need new roles for cloud computing? Understanding the roles of cloud computing simplifies adoption and improves success. Cloud requires skills that IT staff may not have yet. Here we will discuss the roles and tasks required for success with cloud computing. IT leaders often make the mistake of assuming cloud is just another technology to implement. But cloud is a service model, not a technology and will affect your people, processes, and technology. Your team members probably aren’t experts in service design and delivery. Cloud characteristics will change how users, administrators, and auditors interact.

Cloud standards define five special roles for each cloud service model and delivery model you’re considering:

  • Consumer
  • Provider
  • Auditor
  • Broker
  • Carrier

Visualize the cloud business value and the changes required to optimize your efforts by focusing on these five roles. If you don’t understand these new roles then you can miss cloud’s benefits. Accept that current teams don’t fully understand or have experience with these new cloud roles and tasks and explore how current IT and business teams align to them. You may find better cloud skills in business units than IT. These cloud roles will help you compare and optimize cloud service and delivery strategies and help teams understand the knowledge, skills, and abilities they’ll need. If you want a successful cloud effort, you need some new roles in IT.

Roles will make complex IT initiatives like cloud easier to discuss and manage, providing a foundation for discussions throughout the adoption curve spanning from what cloud is, to optimizing cloud solutions. It’s common for a team to use public Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) to provide private Platform as a Service (PaaS) or to broker and audit Software as a Service (SaaS) operated by the business but managed by IT. Many IT leaders presume current IT knowledge, skills, and abilities are enough, but cloud service and delivery models require different approaches to acquisition, provision, consumption, and audit. Cloud computing can be hard to visualize and even more difficult to optimize. If you don’t understand and adapt to these new roles you can miss the efficiency, agility, and innovation benefits cloud promises.

Roles help you optimize comparisons of cloud service and delivery strategies. Understand the sixteen tasks required of the five cloud roles to improve your results.

  • Cloud Consumer: maintains a business relationship with and uses service from cloud providers
  • Cloud Provider: makes cloud SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS available to cloud consumers,  owns or contracts for all the hardware and software necessary to deliver service
  • Cloud Auditor: assesses cloud services, operations, performance, and security, continuously auditing
  • Cloud Broker: negotiates relationships between cloud providers and cloud consumers and manages the use, performance, and delivery of cloud services
  • Cloud Carrier: connects cloud SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS providers to cloud consumers (sometimes physically moving data on DVDs, tapes, or drives )

In the next post we will discuss how you can integrate these roles into your company and your company’s cloud solution.

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