The Internet of Things and the Cloud CIO of the Future

The ease of cloud computing and the explosion of computing devices means that the nature of IT and the role of CIO is going to change dramatically.

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Make the data available. The Open Government Data movement illustrates the power of making data available via open interfaces and different types of feeds. One can't possibly know the ways data can be leveraged, so rather than trying to figure it out, make the data available and let others figure it out. Yes, yes, there are security and privacy issues to sort out, but if the Department of Defense (see the "Search raw data by single/multiple agency" checkbox) can sort through this, it's not an impossible task.

Build scalable architectures. Easy data availability that enables end-user applications means that it's much harder to forecast load. Make sure that the applications that support data availability can handle at least 10X forecast (which, since this is cloud-based, should be much easier, right?).

Look to new storage paradigms. As wonderful as storage vendors are, at some point, the economics of the traditional storage array become untenable. Amazon's S3 is increasingly becoming a standard mode of large-scale storage and, with the company's announcement that it now supports 5 TB objects, will become even more so in the future. Netflix uses S3 for its video streaming, so it should be robust enough for you. In the future, other storage offerings from other cloud providers will also be available, providing other options for cloud storage.

Find success stories. While the three previous recommendations are focused on traditional IT responsibilities, this one is more about the relationship between the CIO and business units. Instead of advocating that business units leverage all this wonderful data, present case studies. Nothing is more powerful than a real-world example in getting people's imagination going, so prime the pump with some case studies. Even more powerful, find some examples from outside your company and have people involved with those projects come and present to a joint IT/business unit gathering. A joint viewing of what other people are accomplishing is often the most powerful goad to focused collaboration.

The ease of cloud computing and the explosion of computing devices means that the nature of IT is going to change dramatically. One can try and mash the new computing format into the traditional box of enterprise IT, or one can recognize the need for new tools and practices. Ken Olsen's example indicates that one is better served in keeping one's eyes on the horizon rather than the well-trod ground at one's feet.

Bernard Golden is CEO of consulting firm HyperStratus, which specializes in virtualization, cloud computing and related issues. He is also the author of "Virtualization for Dummies," the best-selling book on virtualization to date.

Follow Bernard Golden on Twitter @bernardgolden. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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