Cloud Computing Tops Gartner’s Top 10 Strategies List

Once again, cloud computing tops Gartner’s annual list of the “Top 10 Strategic Technologies” for the coming year. But this time, Gartner says, many IT organizations are taking a more formal approach to cloud computing strategizing. Large enterprises will have a “dynamic sourcing team in place by 2012 that is responsible for ongoing cloudsourcing decisions and management.”

It’s a distinct shift from letting SaaS applications for things like CRM and marketing sneak in the business division door, to be recognized by and dealt with later (or not) by IT.

Today, cloud-based solutions are replacing core enterprise systems and providing a new backbone for running organizations. It is no surprise that Workday selection and implementation has always included stakeholders from IT, HR, finance, and the C-suite.

A dynamic sourcing team−as Gartner calls it−staffed with key stakeholders can pursue an organized, communicative approach to sourcing enterprise SaaS and other cloud computing offerings. Business and IT people can share what they learn about viable options, and together develop a strategy for evaluation and implementation, including connectivity to other systems.

At the Interop IT conference last week, cloud computing panelists talked about this very issue, and the importance of strong ties between IT organizations and users’ needs in making cloud computing decisions. SaaS apps that come in without IT’s notice have been referred to as “rogue” applications, but I particularly liked the observation of Andy Schroepfer, a VP at Rackspace Hosting, who said, “It’s not rogue applications, it’s people getting tired of waiting.”

Getting back to Gartner’s Top Ten Strategic Technologies’ list: mobile applications and media tablets immediately follow cloud computing on the top 10 list, and social communications and collaboration follow mobile apps. Interestingly, all of these things are focused on that singular point – delivering the capabilities the user needs, when and where they want it. Strategic indeed.

Mary Hayes Weier

P.S. I wrote earlier this year about leadership teams at several companies that decided where and how to implement SaaS in “Setting The Enterprise Free.”