Here's 7 Reasons why your Organisation Needs a Chief Cloud Officer (CCO), says AppsCare.

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Earlier in 2012, Gartner predicted a further 14 million jobs to be created as a direct result of cloud computing – was a CCO one of them? A CCO would be responsible for leveraging cloud for competitive advantage, manage cloud SLAs and align business strategy with cloud strategy.

Organizations will need a CCO, or an equivalent C role.

Chief Cloud Officer is an interesting role; it is unsure whether the job role will engulf a CIO’s job entirely or whether the two similar, yet strategically different roles will co-exist in business. Once cloud computing becomes mainstream within the corporate world it is likely that organizations will need a CCO, or an equivalent C role to manage “vendors, performance, security and ownership of SLAs of the cloud.” --Rahul Neel Mani, Dynamic CIO.

Here are a few critical responsibilities of a potential CCO:

1.    Leverage cloud for competitive advantage:
Once an organisation has tested the cloud it would be sensible to leverage cloud for sustainable competitive advantage. The flexibility of cloud computing enables organizations to cope and even manage market changes through its truly scalable nature. Cloud has the capacity to enable fast, global and simple Internet-facing application deployments in order to meet demands set by business executives – this is a key advantage over internal deployments.

2.    Define and implement cloud security policy
A primary concern of companies considering a migration to cloud is security. A CCO would possess the expert know-how needed to develop an inclusive cloud security strategy and would work with CSPs to supervise the assignment of security concerns between the CSP and organizational resources.

3.    Monitor network performance
Technologies such as network monitoring switches help guarantee the security of cloud migrations. The technology, which is positioned between the network and analysis tools greatly, improves network visibility. The CCO would then seek opportunities to produce continuous innovations that evolve and enrich the organization’s visibility of virtual network assets.

4.    Manage cloud SLAs
CCO’s would also be in the position to monitor their cloud vendor’s service level agreements (SLAs). In the event of a breach, the CCO would liaise with legal and bill vendors if they do not meet their SLAs. Performance metrics would need to be evidenced when negotiating with cloud providers.

5.    Ensure cloud compliance with industry standards
Considering every company is responsible to comply with industry standards, i.e. FISMA, ISO 27001 and SSAE-16 these compliance practices should be examined. The CCO would establish and enforce the company’s policies, auditing cloud vendors regularly to ensure promises are upheld. The CCO would also be in a position to work with cloud providers to determine how troubleshooting is handled.

6.    Adhere to international policies
A responsibility of the CCO would be to monitor international legislation and the international markets to aid in identifying potential risks in different countries where different rules may apply. This is unlikely to be a minor aspect of the CCO’s role within smaller organizations, however a function not to be dismissed, especially for multinational companies and growing enterprises.

7.    Align business strategy with cloud strategy
Companies require a leader that can unify IT and business activities to ensure both parties are performing strategically. The CCO can then understand what functions are best outsourced and devise a strategic plan that meets the overall company objectives.

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Sophie Woodman
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