What Jurassic Park teaches us about ideas and business-led IT and what CIOs can do about it -1

POSTED BY : Principal Architect - MS Azure CoE
Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Jurassic Park from 1993 is one of the finest movies of our time, in my opinion. Beyond it being a ground-breaking, heart stopping movie; it is a magnum opus that brings Steven Spielberg’s boundless imagination to life.

The movie becomes all the more interesting if you look at it from a technology enthusiast’s point of view. If you were to watch this movie today, you’d be astonished to see Steven’s imagination of self-driving cars, touch screen computing devices and references to finite CPU cycles. Aren’t these some of the coolest things we have in the tech space today? Take Apple with iPads getting thinner and more capable with every release and Tesla with self-driving cars. And the references to running out of CPU cycles in the movie? It can’t be about anything other than the ever increasing relevance of cloud.

Cloud is empowering business to act without IT’s support

Talking about cloud, almost anybody who has heard of the term is clear about the problem it solves. It enables you to get just enough compute muscle when you need it and you pay for what you use. However, there is more to the characteristics of a cloud platform; self-service, elastic, scalable, shared and on-demand are some of them. You can read more about the characteristics of cloud here.

The most astounding of all the benefits of cloud is its ability to help democratize execution of certain ideas. This means almost all of the advancements we have in the tech industry are accessible at a marginal cost to even the smallest of companies operating on a relatively smaller capital, as it is to the largest of corporations. This is like an ambitious kid in a dorm room finding himself inside the Ironman suit.

The situation with business leaders who have been having a hard time selling their requirements, business scenarios and challenges with IT is no different. Businesses have always believed that ideas do not require IT approval and now cloud makes it easy for businesses to move forward with the execution of ideas, without IT's approval. And budgets for such executions or experiments can come right from the departmental budget and not that of IT’s.

It is easy to confuse business-led IT with 'Pocket IT' or 'Shadow IT'. However, business-led IT is not an attempt to duplicate core IT operations. Instead, it is a result of not approaching corporate IT for guidance or support and going about executing ideas that drive business outcomes all by themselves. This reduces IT's opportunities to apply their expertise on driving operational efficiency, security, compliance and related elements that are critical to an organization as a whole.

How should IT and new-gen CIOs respond to this?  More on this in Part 2  of this blog.

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Vishnu Rajkumar
Principal Architect - MS Azure CoE