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Microsoft CIO Shares Cloud Lessons

Tony Scott

While there’s value and virtue in learning from our own mistakes, wouldn’t it be better to learn from the mistakes of others? Tony Scott, Microsoft’s CIO, seems to think so.

Scott shared lessons learned in Microsoft’s foray into cloud computing with an audience of CIOs last week at an event sponsored by Forbes and Microsoft. His hope is that others will use his experience to avoid what he’s calling cloud paralysis.

When deciding how to deploy cloud solutions, Scott said business and technical needs must balance. Cloud decisions should be driven by problem solutions.

“Ask your CEO what’s the most important system in the company and what do you care about,” Scott said. “For us, this was our volume licensing platform.”

Organizations are unique, and so are its cloud needs. Scott suggested using Microsoft’s model for decision-making. Recognize your current capabilities and where you want to go. Identify applications that can easily move, which are already separated, what can be virtualized and what’s not worth it. And finally, Scott said determine the impact on business moving those applications to the cloud will have.

Scott knows change often seems unnecessary when older systems are still getting the work done, but he encouraged IT professionals to not dismiss cloud simply on the grounds that current solutions are working fine. The cost savings alone justify giving it a chance.

Finally, Scott acknowledged that cloud computing will change the role of the CIO. He advised CIOs to organize their departments around processes instead of organizational structures.

In short, Scott strongly encourages business to jump into cloud. Follow his instructions, avoid the pitfalls and reap the rewards.


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