Everyone Seems To Be In Charge Of Enterprise Cloud And Digital These Days – Forbes

There’s plenty of attention on the epic vendor battles now taking place over the cloud land grab. You know the big players — Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Oracle, Google — all of whom vying for ever-growing pieces of corporate IT budgets.

What’s getting less attention is the power struggles — or, perhaps to put it a little less dramatically, organizational re-alignments and claims-staking — taking place within organizations.

Cloud has many points of leadership.

Photo: Joe McKendrick

Cloud has many points of leadership.

David Linthicum, for one, suggests that financial executives are getting more assertive in cloud initiatives. The chief digital officers rising within enterprises also are assuming cloud responsibilities, as are chief marketing officers.

But we also have that vast, immeasurable world of shadow IT, in which people at all levels are taking their own initiatives with cloud and digital, purchasing and using their own cloud applications of choice, in and around IT. These are domains in which line of business managers, power users and any employees seeking faster ways to their jobs are taking control of their own areas.

So, who’s ultimately going to be in charge of cloud — and by extension, digital transformation? Likely, it will be some combination of all of the above. Everyone has a role to play in today’s and tomorrow’s cloud and digital-driven enterprise.

What’s been happening isn’t necessarily turf wars for leadership of the cloud-digital space within enterprises, but more of a sharing of of roles. I’ve spoken with business leaders in recent years about who has been taking the lead with cloud and digital, and more often than not, there is acknowledgement that everyone has a part to play.

In a survey of 500 executives by Deloitte, 31% state that the executive leadership of their organizations are taking a leadership role of new technology initiatives, such as cloud, while 59% report they are “actively engaged.” ┬áChief executive officers can no longer stay in their corner offices, deferring technology decisions to IT. There’s too much riding on tech choices these days. As cloud and digital are recasting business models, CEOs have the ultimate decision of how to meet disruptive threats — or even become one.

Look at the CFO, who, as Linthicum pointed out, is taking more of a visible cloud leadership role, at least to keep technology costs in line. The chief financial officer also is recognizing that cloud and digital represent new financial lifeblood for the business.

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