An IDG CIO Research survey of 1,500 CIOs and other IT leaders establishes that organizations are having a rethink on the tradeoff between costs and value and the service orientation that is being brought into computing by Cloud backup and recovery services.  The survey revealed that the organizational impulse behind value creation is differentiation and customer satisfaction.  The survey participants agreed that both these goals can be realized only if the organization can use the data volumes available in the Cloud backup to generate the value that the customers are looking for. To this end, they stated that data stored in the Cloud must be meticulously organized, analyzable, accessible and useful and IT must play a big role in enabling Big Data Analytics proficiencies. There must be a consensus of opinion among Business and IT leaders.

The service orientation of IT seems to have a lot to do with this shift of focus. 49% of the participants from the United States were convinced that productivity improvement is their primary goal, and hence, they need tools that will enable better, faster decision making with improved service delivery, and data security. Only 31% felt that lower costs are an attraction.

Further, the survey outcomes show that people issues around the Cloud are gaining importance. The respondents pointed out that right staff and skill sets for Cloud based data management needs to be acquired through productivity focused training. The data scientist must emerge and traditional roles must be given up in favor of new ones that are more tailored to the demands of Cloud computing. Distributed environments are giving way to combined and consolidated computing and IT professionals will have to learn to manage collective resources with a service orientation. The Human resources will have to be restructured and re-aligned to perform these roles.

It is evident from the survey results that most respondents believe that the success of the Cloud implementation will lie in understanding the transformation and managing it. CIO’s must act as “brokers of value” while cutting costs and handling risks. The top management and the IT leadership must recognize that there is a consistency between business goals and IT goals. They must understand that the service oriented architecture of the Cloud enables increased and meaningful interactions between stakeholders and triggers role-changes for the HR—which must be purposefully and granularly integrated into the structure of the business.