3 CIOs Give Thumbs-Up to the Cloud

Cloud-based systems have made these IT organizations more agile, more strategic and better able to hone a competitive edge

Cloud-based systems can help IT organizations be more agile and achieve greater business engagement, gain a competitive edge, and deliver strategic solutions faster. These three CIOs discuss how they succeeded on the cloud.

A Path to Agility, Business Engagement

Mike Benson, CIO, DirecTV: The cloud has helped me, as a CIO, become more agile. Cloud apps tend to be very flexible and easy to bring up and pilot. If it isn't a good fit, we can easily go in another direction.

We began pursuing cloud-enabled apps four years ago. Today, the IT department delivers business capabilities more quickly than we could with traditional applications. Two years ago, our commercial business relied on manual processes such as faxes and had no visibility into leads.

We decided to experiment with Salesforce.com for lead generation; we brought the system up quickly, and it worked out well. Now, we're taking Salesforce.com to the next level in our direct sales organization as a lead-to-order tool.

Now that we don't need a capital expense every time we want to start something up, expenses don't necessarily show up in the IT budget--they are in the budget of the department that requested the service. From my perspective, departments are now more engaged in our conversations--they understand where the value comes from, and they are more invested in the solution because they have financial skin in the game.

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