While cloud computing has greatly benefited businesses in terms of cost-savings and increased efficiency, it has also given CIOs a larger role within organizations and provides IT professionals with one of the most valuable job skills.
Over the past decade, IT has become deeply woven into business. The ways in which both enterprise and IT leaders use data stemming from information management and analysis are invaluable to business operations, growth and innovation.
The importance of managing mission-critical information has led to a greater distribution of power and influence to CIOs, making them one of the most crucial members of an organization, noted Cloud Tech News contributor Pontus Noren.
Private clouds enhance roles of CIOs and IT
Cloud server providers offer tools that have fundamentally changed business computing methods, and CIOs are largely becoming seen as "chief innovation officers" in addition to traditional IT functions.
"It's true that innovation has become an important part of the job role, but only because of the power of the information at the disposal of the CIO," wrote Noren.
Not only have cloud-based services, notably private or infrastructure-as-a-service clouds, enlarged the role of CIOs, but many of them acknowledged that cloud computing is the most lucrative skill to have in the IT job market today, according to a Robert Half Technology study cited in a SYS-CON Media article.
Just under half of respondents stated they would hire IT staff to support cloud initiatives, and 82 percent of those surveyed said "they were in some way undertaking cloud initiatives."
Benefiting from IaaS cloud deployment
A recent BlueCat publication cited the results of a 2012 Gartner study, which indicated that 78 percent of organizations polled would pursue a private cloud strategy by 2014. In private clouds, the infrastructure is managed by or for a single organization, a chief reason for its superior security as opposed to public clouds.
"Hosted and managed internally or by a third-party, the private cloud brings all the benefits of cloud – on-demand capacity, scalability, elasticity and IT cost savings – but with the added security and privacy demanded by large, security-conscious organizations," according to the source.
Private clouds have renewed focus on the importance of robust network infrastructure that can support and maintain cloud service continuity and agility. Such platforms also provide a heterogeneous environment for various hypervisors. While VMWare dominates this aspect, private clouds can also incorporate additional hypervisors including Microsoft Hyper-V, Xen and KVM.
Improving user experience and the quality of service from private clouds require automation and provisioning to be "integrated with a self-service portal to empower users to rapidly self-provision a new virtual machine or cloud service." This helps to reduce the burden placed on IT staff who have traditionally needed to manually perform functions to process workload requests.
Enterprise-class IaaS clouds enable firms and IT departments to do all of this. Some leading cloud service providers that offer such services, like Peak, are 100 percent channel centric. Peak's partners are able to white-label cloud services as their own, which allow them to rapidly enter the cloud marketplace under their own brand without capital expenditure, enjoying a faster route to profitability. Aside from greatly reducing the complexity of private cloud deployments, Peak guarantees that its solutions reflect the highest standards in IT.