Chief information officers, given their authority in companies, may not be too keen about handing over the reins of their entire information technology operations to people all the way across the globe. For some time now, a number of executives have decided to move their businesses’ IT functions to locales around the world, giving up a great deal of control for the sake of cutting costs. While there is definitely an array of benefits that could come from offshoring different aspects of these practices, it is important for professionals to realize that this is not a panacea to their tech problems. By considering the potential downsides that may come with participating in this trend, CIOs may be able to make more informed decisions that will set their organizations up for success.
IT to follow globalization trend
By and large, the push for global IT originates from corporations operating on an international scale in general. A new norm for companies stationed in developed nations, such as the U.S. and the U.K., is that they tend to have outlets throughout the globe that deal with carrying out different functions for their businesses. For example, a manufacturing company may be stationed in the States, where its C-suite resides, but then have branches in countries like India and China, which take care of the customer service and production processes.
While outsourcing these kinds of functions is becoming generally accepted and even embraced by a share of companies, applying this same practice to IT is still relatively taboo. That being said, some businesses have been dabbling with this notion, taking their previously centralized, in-house infrastructure and putting it on cloud-based systems so that it can be accessed by domestic and worldwide tech representatives. By doing so, these enterprises aim to make collaboration between countries easier, as these globalized tools will foster communication and ensure shareability within their internal teams, regardless of where they may be conducting business.
CIOs are skeptical after Snowden debacle
One organization that has taken to this practice is Coats, a manufacturing company that makes thread used in other products – ranging from tea bags to mattresses. The corporation’s CIO Richard Cammish explained to Computer Weekly that even though he has successfully implemented globalized software that is accessible via the cloud, he had to entice the rest of his company to support this initiative.
“People get nervous about globalization because there is a sense that you lose control,” Cammish told the news source. ”I have had to sell the concept of global to the management board and the rest of the organization.”
Following the widely publicized NSA scandal, it is easy to understand why some professionals may have reservations about switching their IT infrastructure and housing all of their confidential information on the cloud. The Computer Business Review reported that since the Snowden incident, organizations are more skeptical about this innovative solution, concerned about potential security issues. In fact, the source stated that not only have people pumped the brakes when it comes to adopting this advancement, but also some professionals have even started to go in reverse, canceling their cloud services due to the risks that they may pose with regards to keeping their data protected.
Communication benefits are major appeal
Despite the worries plaguing a share of company representatives, Cammish informed Computer Weekly that implementing cloud-based tools with a global reach – such as the Office 365 programs that Coats uses - has revolutionized the way his firm operates.
“Email and collaboration is pervasive technology, particularly for white-collar workers,” he said. “Of all the projects we deliver, email is the most visible.”
“When you start to drive change, there is a lot of depth and complexity you can reveal,” Cammish continued. “There was an appetite to upgrade email because our version of Notes was not the sharpest of tools. Synchronization and connectivity niggles were among the problems faced by staff who traveled a lot.”
Even though the benefits that could come from CIOs implemented these types of tools to ensure that their operations throughout the world are carried out with ease and efficiency, the advancements cannot do all the work – IT professionals have to be on the same page as far as these solutions go. This way, everyone knows his or her role, and the appropriate tasks can be completed.
“You shape the project, get people to understand their commitments and be clear about people’s roles and responsibilities,” Cammish stated.