Managing the Cloud with IT Governance 
Published: Dec-12-11
Tremendous value is gained from a well established governance structure inside your IT organization, including providing the framework to manage the rush to cloud computing. Because getting on the cloud requires nothing more than a credit card, an extremely precarious situation can ensue when individual departments start purchasing cloud software or infrastructure services without coordinating through IT. I’m Bob Kress, COO for Accenture’s Internal IT and I want to share with you some thoughts I have on how IT organizations can use a strong governance structure to work closely with their internal customers to make sure technology, including cloud computing, is part of a coordinated approach to support an organization’s strategic business endeavors. 
The clamor to jump on the cloud or any other rogue IT activities will be contained when your department is recognized as relationship driven and the source of solutions, rather than the source of roadblocks. A high-quality IT governance structure gives you the authority and strength to maintain a centralized decision making operation, and it works best when it mimics the overall governance of your organization in the way decisions are made and strategy is set. Spending on IT investments is most effective when it is aligned to work hand-in-hand with those business strategies and objectives that support the organization’s overall business goals. It’s also important to make sure that constituents impacted by IT decisions are at the table during the decision making process. Senior level executives must be involved with decision making. Middle level managers may be incremental in their approach to enhancing or improving a service, whereas a senior level executive, with a broader understanding of the organization’s business objectives, will have the corporate perspective and authority to say “we need something completely new and different.” 
Instead of viewing cloud computing as risky, it can be seen as an important reminder of the need for IT to create a strong customer-relationship focused organization. That’s a point I make in this podcast on how the cloud environment is placing a premium on IT governance. You can also click here to learn more about Accenture’s model for IT governance. By partnering with your internal customers, you can understand their business strategies and objectives and work together towards solutions that fit within the organization’s overall framework. If you aren’t there to meet their needs and help their departments succeed, you are missing an opportunity to deliver to the business. Fundamentally, we are talking about IT departments providing better service, ongoing dialogue and more options to their internal customers. And at the end of day – cloudy or otherwise – that’s a good thing.
Is your company seeing a rush to the cloud? What are your concerns about the cloud and how are you managing it? Share your experiences here.

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