Neil Sholay, Head of Oracle Digital

IT is becoming a force for innovation within business, courtesy of the cloud

One of the perennial topics in the world of IT centers on the much-anticipated death of the IT department. Predictions along these lines first emerged at the time cloud computing started to make a stir, and line of business (LOB) managers began bypassing the IT department and buying software, storage and compute resources from public cloud service providers. The argument runs that eventually everything will move to the cloud, because the cloud is so much more cost effective, agile and convenient than traditional enterprise IT.

Well, to paraphrase Mark Twain, reports on the death of IT have proven to be exaggerated.

What actually happened in the wake of cloud technology’s rise has been far more interesting. Far from marginalizing the IT department, the cloud has actually provided it with the tools to become much more innovative and creative, making IT even more crucial to the wider strategies of the business.

For a start, IT has gained much more time to add new value to the business. The cloud has freed IT departments from time-consuming tasks such as patching and backing up databases or setting up data encryption and disaster recovery. Similarly, IT professionals no longer need to worry themselves with provisioning and configuration tasks as these are all automated within the cloud.

What this means is that the IT team can focus more time and energy on developing tools that directly improve the way businesses operate and the services that are delivered to customers. IT now has a hand in everything from building innovative mobile apps, to harnessing data to improve operations, and working with business units to improve operations.

Cloud Platforms are one of the most important cloud services in this respect.  Cloud Platforms allow organizations to join their entire IT estate together, including public, private and hybrid cloud, and on-premise infrastructure. It also allows companies to develop and use their own tailor-made applications, as well as third party technologies, and treat them all in the same way.

This makes testing and rolling out new services much easier and faster. For example, Cloud Platforms allow users to extend cloud applications onto their on-premise IT or carry out the testing of custom apps in the cloud before moving the finished solutions on-premise. 

Cloud Platforms also enable IT teams to very quickly develop and test new apps for internal use (i.e. for Line of Business managers). If an app proves to add real value to the business, it can then be integrated into the businesses immediately and with ease. If it fails to meet expectations, IT can abandon it at the development stage, safe in the knowledge that little has been wasted in terms of time or money.

This ‘fail fast’ mentality has taken businesses around the world by storm and is behind the wave of new digitally-enabled services being made available to their customers. The cloud has made it possible for IT to adopt this same mentality internally and begin transforming their businesses from the inside out.

If you would like to learn more about how Cloud Platforms can drive enterprise innovation, please download our guide.