Cloud computing has become a game changer for many businesses. By the end of this year alone, the cloud services market will be worth $ 109 billion after growing by 19.6 percent, research firm Gartner said recently. Among the 14 million jobs cloud adoption will create will be a new one: the Chief Cloud Officer or COO.
The CNN, in a recent report titled "7 Executive Jobs in the Future C–Suite", said that the growth of cloud computing will create the need for a CCO at any company that wants to keep its information safe. The need for a CCO has arisen because cloud computing is set to completely redefine the landscape of day-to-day business processes. Industry experts admit that cloud computing is emerging as a disruptive force and is transforming every conventional practice that organizations have so far utilized to govern their IT systems.
As cloud adoption gathers speed, organizations will find it imperative to bring on board an executive who will not only spearhead the cloud adoption policy but also expertly deal with the various business and technology issues that the introduction of cloud computing will bring in its wake.
So what exactly will be the role and scope of work of a CCO? Simply put, it will be to fully leverage cloud for sustainable competitive advantage while dealing with the many challenges it may pose. Organizations will need a CCO to establish vendor relations, maximize performance, and manage security and ownership of SLAs of the cloud while staying abreast of cloud developments.
A CCO is being perceived as a business enabler and a smart negotiator who would tactfully negotiate relationships with Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) in terms of costs, security features and performance outcome. His role will also entail monitoring of international legislation and markets to aid in identifying potential risks in different geographies where different regulations may apply. The soaring popularity of cloud computing among businesses also means that newer technologies, such as monitoring switches, will need to be deployed to ensure the security of cloud migrations. A CCO will then be expected to be abreast of such technologies, identify their needs and deploy them in the organization.
With organizations starting to feel the need to align their business strategy with their cloud strategy, it's just a matter of time before the role of the COO gets enshrined in the C-Suite. What remains to be seen, however, will be whether the CCO will pose a threat to a CIO's job or the two may continue to co-exist as strategic roles that meet the overall company objectives.