Here’s an interesting view on how “The Cloud” can change what IT professionals have to do, according to Chris Murphy, interviewing Brady Corp's CIO Bentley Curran (in the Global CIO column of InformationWeek, 23 April 2011).
Go read the entire interview, which starts off:
As companies move more of their software to the cloud, there are some indispensible skills IT pros need to hone or acquire, and they’re not technical skills.
and further on:
Now those staffers are doing things like working with the company's R&D to ensure that employees in its Asian and U.S. design centers can do the kind of collaboration they need to, using Google apps. For example, IT employees have helped colleagues use Google Sites to set up their own project pages, so they can post content rather than emailing it around.
Cloud software can bring its compromises--fewer features, less ability to customize. Google Apps doesn't have all the features and functions of Microsoft Exchange, Curran says, and IT leaders need to make that fact clear to their colleagues.
But people are using more features than they were in Lotus because Apps is easy to use, Curran says. And, it's has lowered costs, let IT focus more on strategy than implementation, and met Brady's global collaboration needs. The only real hiccup has been for its employees in China using Google Apps. "One day it'll be working, the next day a certain group of people will just be denied access to certain functionality, and you can't predict it," Curran says.
Lotus Notes and Microsoft Exchange are being kept on their toes, it seems.