Moving to the cloud is all to often sold as a cost saving and improved agility response to solving problems The experience may be very different. The reality is you are trading capital for operating when moving to the cloud. You are also trading technical skills for contract management skills. If you own a data center and have capacity, the question becomes that of talent and architecture. If you go to a big cloud provider and need help, you had better have a good contract manager as you will be battling for attention among their 1000s of customers. You may not need those expensive virtual server engineers, but you will need those expensive contract/project managers who have skilled talents dealing with cloud providers.
Go into any SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, NaaS relationship with a solid understanding of what you are trading and remember do not do the analysis on just a three or five year deal. When those initial enticements to get you to the cloud expire, you have a whole new relationship issue to address. Now you have to manage data ownership, data migration, new rate analysis, etc.
This depends on how much of SaaS based IT service a company is willing to adopt to. If they move to SaaS based service for everything [ which eventually they will], internal IT doesn't have much to do.
Currently bigger organizations do not want to move to SaaS for their sales and admin data. Not even for ERP data. However this is more political because CIO of the organizations want to hold on to their power. If you look at the statistics ( take the case of data breach in Target, Equifax), in almost all the data breach have proved internal IT has not been able to identify data breach in advance. No company has yet suffered a breach because of SaaS which are always much better tested when it comes to security.
This political game will continue till bigger organization will recognize internal IT is a burden and SaaS offered much better services and security by learning from their experience.
Thank you for your interesting and amazing inputs. You, Biplab, Keith and Lynn, clearly demonstrate that cloud is a subject that can be considered by different perspectives. In my experience cloud services help you maintain a better systems 'health' and allow you to rely on economies of scale and professional skills. The real issue is what roles must be kept inside the organization. In my experience as CIO all the systems were outsourced but I was very careful in externalizing added value roles. What are your thoughts on that ?
Clearly a move to the cloud (Saas, Paas, Iaas) has many implications for an IT organisation.
To enable that move and make it successful: governance, process, skills and organisation need to be adjusted/reworked.
It is a complex change that is very often underestimated and neglected, leading to disappointing cloud moves.
It will significantly change IT organisations but I think more roles than project management and business analyst will remain needed. To name a few, architecture is going to remain key (there will be more than one cloud provider), contract managers, business analyst, integration...
And anyway, transition is going to take years, some legacy apps are very sticky !
Finally IT relationship/governance with internal business partners will need to change as well, as there will also be a shift from pipeline driven change requests (tell us what you need and we will see how to make it happen) to a more forward looking / Saas provider roadmap (I.e.: what are the functionalities which are part of Saas Editor roadmap in the next 3/6/9months and how are we going to leverage them / integrate them.