Without question, cloud computing continues to be the hot topic of discussion in information technology circles.  Vendors, customers and industry observers are all weighing in on the opportunities and challenges posed by the cloud. 

Many IT professionals are, quite reasonably, asking question such as: “What does my job look like as the tech industry and my company move toward cloud computing?”

Of course, IT managers know that their roles never stop evolving. New technologies and business demands arise every day.  Business leaders and employees always want more from IT.  And yes, cloud computing will accelerate that evolution.  As Bob Muglia, president of our Server and Tools Business says in this video, the cloud is “a world-class, dramatic shift.”

The good news, as Muglia points out, is that the shift presents great opportunities for IT to contribute more to their organization’s bottom line.  The cloud will help IT more quickly deploy new capabilities – applications, services, access – that will enable business to happen more efficiently and effectively.

 

Simply put, the cloud can help IT do more and be more important than ever.  With the cloud, IT managers can help the business bring a new service to market faster than the competition.  Or, it can help IT take advantage of extra computing horsepower to meet seasonal demand without acquiring new hardware and software.  And IT can use the cloud to offload the management and delivery of traditional applications, such as email, in order to devote more time and resources to implementing new, strategic solutions.

For example, Siemens IT Solutions and Services uses the Microsoft Windows Azure platform to distribute software to thousands of Siemens devices around the world – enhancing services and avoiding significant new capital investment. In another example,  Kelley Blue Book runs its high-traffic automotive Web site on the Windows Azure platform, saving $100,000 annually and freeing up IT sources for other projects.

It’s an exciting time to be in IT, with cloud computing providing much more efficient hardware, much faster application deployment, and lower operational costs.  And at Microsoft we’re focused on helping IT managers “mind the gap,” as Muglia says, to use their existing expertise and systems to bridge the current, on-premises world of IT with the cloud.
 
Visit Cloud Computing: A Guide for IT Leaders to view more videos and content providing guidance about cloud computing. Also, Muglia will be talking more about the opportunities of cloud computing at next week’s Tech Ed 2010 conference, taking place in New Orleans.

Posted by Patrick O’Rourke
DIRECTOR, SERVER & TOOLS BUSINESS