5 min read

8 things every CIO should know about cloud


CIOs are making important decisions about how technology can accomplish their organization’s goals while keeping in mind current social, technological, and economic trends. Cloud should be front and center of these decisions. Many companies have either started their cloud journey or optimized their cloud environment to stay competitive in the wake of COVID-19.

To help make your job easier for you, here are eight things to consider as you create your cloud roadmaps.

1. Public and private cloud aren’t the only choices

When moving to the cloud, one decision CIOs must make is whether the public cloud or the private cloud is more appropriate for their organization. There are pros and cons of each, leading most organizations to adopt a hybrid cloud strategy, which is a combination of both. This approach can give the best of both worlds: the cost-effectiveness of the public cloud combined with the added security of the private cloud, to name a couple of benefits.

Then there’s distributed cloud. Public cloud providers offer this model, but it is neither a public, private, hybrid nor a multi-cloud approach, per se. Distributed cloud enables you to run your resources in a geographical location of your choice. On-prem? Yes. The provider’s data center? Sure. A competitor’s data center closer to where the data is needed? Yes again, and all of the above simultaneously — hence the name “distributed.” On top of all that, a single control panel can control all operations, solving the maintenance and operational inconsistencies of hybrid environments.

2. Cloud requires continuous optimization

Fueled by the pandemic, cloud adoption soared in 2020 and 2021. For many organizations, however, this meant a simple lift and shift. That is, taking the older infrastructure and putting it in the cloud as-is. This approach can be an excellent first step, but it prevents you from fully realizing the benefits of being cloud-native and achieving your business goals. 

But even in cases where CIOs and other decision-makers oversaw different cloud approaches, many aren’t happy with the results. This can be for a number of reasons, but one way to change this is to optimize your cloud environment continually. That’s why we will see many organizations optimizing their existing cloud environments at the top of their to-do lists.

3. Cloud can help you reach your sustainability goals

As businesses ramp up their digital transformations, they’re also prioritizing their environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) efforts. Fittingly, the cloud is a key enabler of both. Moving workloads away from on-premises data centers is one of the easiest ways an organization can reduce its carbon footprint. And as regulators, stakeholders, and customers are becoming more and more eco-conscious, the cloud also enables organizations to step up their reporting and transparency when it comes to their ESG efforts. Cloud providers are aware of this trend. Google, for example, aims to run on carbon-free energy at all their data centers by 2030. By 2030 Microsoft has pledged to be carbon negative and as part of that objective, its data centers will be running on 100% renewable energy by 2025.

4. AI and cloud go hand in hand

In the past, utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) required computing and human resources that many organizations didn’t have. Today, those organizations can turn to the cloud for their AI needs. Cloud services offer cost-effective access to AI, enabling organizations to gain unprecedented insights without making a huge upfront investment. 

Further, the collaboration between AI and the cloud allows organizations to get the most from both technologies. AI in the cloud can aid in the management of data, optimize workflows, and boost productivity. And because of the unlimited storage possibilities you get with the cloud, more data points can be stored and analyzed, leading to more accurate insights to help leaders generate more value for their companies.

5. Cloud journeys are being delayed due to a lack of talent

CIOs and other decision-makers know all too well of the current talent shortage of IT professionals. This is especially true concerning those with cloud computing skills. Businesses across industries began their cloud journey in 2020 and 2021, but many plans to migrate or optimize have been stalled. There aren’t enough cloud experts out there to meet the demand. 

In addition to upskilling their current IT staff (and crossing their fingers that their hiring and recruiting efforts pan out), organizations are partnering with technology service providers, managed service providers, and consulting firms to augment their staff and bring in skills they currently don’t have. They can also access domain-specific vertical cloud offerings from cloud platforms to overcome shortage of domain specific talent. Hyperautomation through low-code / no-code platform enables citizen developers to build applications in no time.

6. Zero trust security architecture is needed

Cloud security is one of CIOs’ top concerns when considering the cloud. The frequency of headlines about cloud breaches can make it seem like the cloud isn’t as secure as an on-premises environment, but that isn’t true.

So, where do most of those cloud breaches come from?

The answer is the human element. A Verizon report found that 85% of breaches over the past year involved the human element — that includes actions such as phishing and lost or stolen credentials. That’s why it’s important to get the capacity and expertise you need from the beginning of your cloud journey so that you can migrate your data in a secure yet cost-effective way and then continuously monitor your cloud environment and optimize when necessary.

7. Remote work is here to stay

When the pandemic started, organizations rushed to enable their employees to work from home. Now, as companies create their back-to-office plans (and scrap them and re-create them as necessary), it’s apparent that a hybrid work environment is here to stay. CIOs are tasked with creating secure, hybrid work environments enabled by the cloud to support this new way of working. To begin implementing the necessary technology for this to work, CIOs should consider the following:

  • How to allow consistent and continuous secure data access for all employees whenever they work.
  • The implications of home networks and how different cloud choices will impact security and operational speed.
  • The tools and infrastructure needed to enable complete collaboration among a distributed workforce.

8. Cloud enhances Total Experience for the customer

Total experience (TX) is the sum of an organizations’ experiences, combining multi experience (MX), customer experience (CX), user experience (UX), and employee experience (EX). Cloud is helping optimize the human experience for customers, employees and ecosystem partners by shortening response times, improving interactions, accelerating product development, generating insights, powering dynamic decision-making and providing a seamless omni-channel customer experience. Cloud based customer experience management solutions have made it easy to collect and analyze customer data.

What Relevantz Can Do for You

Relevantz has been helping enterprises in their cloud journey from deploying cloud environments, providing migration and needed development services to move traditional non-cloud applications to the cloud environment, and developing cloud-native applications on AWS, Azure, and GCP. We can help your enterprise in any stage of your cloud journey to adopt and leverage cloud capabilities to reach your business goals.

Do you want to bring relevance to your cloud computing strategy?