887RA The Business Reality of the Cloud: Takeaways from Saugatuck’s Cloud Business Summit
What is Happening? — Earlier this week, Saugatuck hosted its inaugural Cloud Business Summit (see Note 1) in New York City, an invitation-only conference that brought together 125 senior business strategists and technology executives’ from large enterprises to explore what is possible, what is real, and what is not in the Cloud today. This Research Alert summarizes highlights and key takeaways from each session. Future Saugatuck research publications will provide further depth of analysis and guidance developed for, and derived from, the Cloud Business Summit. In addition, Saugatuck readers should be on the lookout for YouTube video highlights from the event sessions within the next couple of weeks that will be published on Saugatuck’s YouTube Channel.
Why is it Happening? — The Cloud has begun its unstoppable spread into all aspects of business, for IT and business strategists, business executives and users, and IT providers. Its impact is already huge, and yet largely unknown. That makes planning for and managing Cloud IT critically important even while its potential and costs are still being explored.
The combination of confusion and uncertainty amid widespread Cloud use stems from pressures of working within the early stages of Cloud IT, and thus the early stages of Cloud Business. Cloud IT helps businesses drive operational efficiencies and evolve toward hybrid business application architectures that provide significant process improvement. At the same time, however, the Cloud also helps to transform business and drive revenue through the creation of new Cloud-enabled business services, all while changing and forging new and evolved supplier / partner relationships. Business unit desire for, and adoption of, Cloud technologies and business solutions is forcing IT organizations to adapt or break – thus the need for the business to respond accordingly.
Below are the highlights of the Cloud Business Summit, by session, with a summary the key takeaways of each.
Keynote: A New Reality: Cloud IT and Cloud Business
• Saugatuck CEO Bill McNee used the company’s latest research and analysis to illustrate the true extent of Cloud in IT and business, focusing on the current uncertainties and emphasizing adopters’ potential for both significant business opportunity, and significant business (and IT) risk.
• Key Takeaway: The focus for Cloud adopters and Cloud providers needs to be not only how the Cloud can be consumed internally to help save money and for business process improvement, but on Cloud Business – how we can do business better using the Cloud, and how the Cloud can create, and has already created, innovative new business opportunities and risks across a wide range of industry segments that McNee profiled.
Featured Presentation: Realizing the Benefits of Cloud Computing
• IBM Software Group SVP Robert LeBlanc shared his perspectives on the reality and future of Cloud IT and business, using the experiences of IBM itself as well as partners and customers to illustrate and emphasize lessons learned in the deployment, adoption, and business impact of Cloud IT. LeBlanc introduced a series of important themes that were repeated in later sessions, including that the Cloud itself is not new, but the ways in which we access it, use it, pay for it, and manage it, are extremely disruptive due in large part to the exceptional scale made possible by today’s technologies. With such massive scale come massive opportunities to improve efficiencies throughout IT and business. But these opportunities must be effectively managed – something that is often beyond the scope of today’s IT organizations.
• Key Takeaway: Properly implemented, managed, and governed, through the combined and coordinated efforts of IT and business strategists and executives, the benefits of Cloud IT are significant and achievable, but will require improved and more effective business and IT management awareness and effort.
CIO / CTO Panel: Transitioning to the Cloud
Saugatuck Head of Research Bruce Guptill led an engaging panel including James Powell, CTO of Thomson Reuters; Pat Toole, former Corporate VP and CIO for IBM; Manesh Patel, SVP and CIO of Sanmina‐SCI; and Chris Perretta, EVP and CIO of State Street Bank, on what they and their business counterparts are doing, have done, and plan to do to create business advantage using Cloud IT. The panelists’ experiences and insights were wide-ranging, but with core themes that repeated again and again
• Complete buy-in and coordination between IT and business units / executives are necessary to create and benefit from Cloud opportunities; and
• That buy-in and coordination builds from IT building and articulating solid, simple business cases endorsing and supporting core aspects of Cloud adoption and use, from cost improvements to areas of business improvement and business creation.
Key Takeaway: Though the roles and resources of IT need to change, the IT organization. . .
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