The Rise of the CPO: Making Cloud Performance a Core Competency

Companies deploying cloud-based systems often do so with the understanding, or the hope, that cloud computing and optimal performance go together like peanut butter and jelly or pancakes and syrup. However, once they move to the cloud, they realize that there is a gap, and sometimes a wide one, between the out-of-the-box performance improvements they had hoped to achieve and the reality that their data and analytics are showing.

Cloud Performance and Marketplace Optimism

Oxford Economics and SAP released a series of reports analyzing the adoption of cloud computing, based on a global survey of 200 senior business and IT executives. The latest report shows that these leaders are optimistic about what cloud computing can do for their organizations.

One stat really stands out for me:

  • 92% of all respondents expect to achieve moderate to significant improvements in speed and efficiency of processes via the cloud.

In short, these survey respondents are showing that they "get it" when it comes to understanding what cloud computing can do for their organizations. John Rote, VP of Product and Development at Bonobos, articulated the promise of cloud computing beautifully: "What’s attractive about cloud services is that they can be switched on, scaled up, scaled down, and reconfigured quickly, and with few IT resources."

However, perhaps the most telling part of that statistic is the phrase "expect to achieve."

Here’s why…

The Reality of Cloud Performance: There’s Work to Do

The optimism around cloud computing and performance improvements captured in the Oxford Economics survey does not always become a reality. In fact, results from an earlier survey of 140 IT managers and professionals conducted at IPEXPO by ExtraHop Networks track closer to what we at Cloudamize see happening in the marketplace:

  • 70% of respondents indicated that they are unaware of how to measure performance of applications placed in the cloud.

This is the primary reason companies seek out Cloudamize’s services, and where we offer them the most value. You cannot improve what you cannot measure. For these IT managers responding to the survey, the promise of improved performance through cloud computing has not yet come to fruition.

Solution: A Chief Performance Officer

In a digital economy, optimal performance drives business growth. Customers and users judge organizations on key factors like reliability, speed, and response time. Sub-optimal performance in any one of these areas can damage your reputation and hurt your bottom line. And yet, the vast majority of companies do not have someone on their leadership team whose sole responsibility is performance.

We all need a Chief Performance Officer.

The CPO would be responsible for breaking down internal barriers to optimal performance, from poor communication to lack of performance-measuring tools. The CPO would ensure that IT has a seat at the strategy table and performance is a key discussion point since it has a direct impact on revenue. And, the CPO would actively manage the organization’s cloud deployment and suggest optimal strategies to right-size and right-price cloud infrastructure.

Could these responsibilities reside with the CIO or CTO? Possibly; and most probably they already do. However, in order to move the cloud and performance out of the black box that most IT managers are struggling with, we need more.

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