Gartner: IT departments under threat from cloud


IT departments could be increasingly sidelined over the next three years, as employees sign up for cloud services without their involvement.

This is the view of analyst firm Gartner, who claimed IT workers will need to take action to reassert their authority in the cloud era.

There is continuing confusion and misunderstanding as vendors increasingly hype cloud' as a marketing term.

IT departments should consider positioning themselves as cloud brokers who aggregate and manage online services on behalf of the wider business.

"IT departments should explore how they can [establish] a purchasing process that accommodates cloud adoption and encourages business units to come to the IT organisation for advice and support," said Gartner.

The cloud broker trend is one of several end users will need to consider when planning their cloud strategies over the next three years, the analyst house warned.

Otherwise, companies could risk wasting money and losing their competitive edge.

David Mitchell Smith, a research vice president at Gartner, explained: "The [cloud] trend and related technologies continue to evolve and change rapidly, and there is continuing confusion and misunderstanding as vendors increasingly hype cloud' as a marketing term."

Other areas end users will need to address include making sure the economic benefits of cloud do not come at the expense of their company's security, service availability and performance.

They also need to think beyond moving existing workloads to the cloud, and start creating applications optimised for use in online environments.

"Many organisations [look first at moving] existing workloads to a cloud system [and] this may provide benefits where the workload has a highly variable resource requirement," Gartner added.

"However, to fully exploit the potential of a cloud model, applications need to be designed with the unique characteristics of a cloud model in mind."

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.