As the chief executive at your company, if you discovered that you had some major financial standards compliance issues within your organization, would you be concerned about the risks associated with that exposure?

If your designated outside auditor had bypassed your internal finance department and chose instead to work directly with your individual Line of Business leaders, would you want to know why? Moreover, would you intervene?

Yes, it’s a rhetorical series of questions. And I think we all know the answers.

Did you know there’s a movement that’s already in progress that could impact your company’s provision and consumption of IT services, with a corresponding potential exposure concern that’s related to compliance issues?

Have you heard about the Shadow IT phenomenon? According to the assessment of several leading IT market analysts, it’s a trend that’s already quite pervasive across a broad cross-section of industries. It’s also been a hotly debated topic.

Who is championing this cause from a horizontal organization perspective? According to market research from last year, it’s primarily the marketing leadership.

The Need for Greater Speed and Deep Knowledge

Granted, some of the inherent friction within the ongoing quest for strategic business technology competitiveness can be uncomfortable for some people. But in the grand scheme of things, it’s all good. This is the path to progress. Let’s consider the upside opportunities.

IT used to be primarily about operations, cost reduction, and management controls. That’s no longer the scenario at forward-thinking companies. Today, corporate IT departments are being asked to plan, build or procure, manage, and continuously improve upon their organization’s business technology infrastructure and associated processes.

As if that weren’t enough, you will likely also expect your re-energized IT leadership team to help your organization innovate, grow, and deliver unique customer experiences. If you haven’t yet reached that pivotal point, don’t fret…you will soon.

Besides, you’re most likely to be highly motivated to navigate this key market transition. As an informed executive, you’ve made it a personal goal to insure that you surround yourself with the best available talent.

While business technology deployments can’t provide you a permanent competitive advantage, the timely deployment of new IT systems can enable you to build a strong competitive position that will stand the tests of time.

Moreover, while cloud service adoption moves towards ubiquity in the global marketplace, the ability to perform the essential task of crafting a unique and powerful business application development environment is still somewhat scarce. Again, that’s an opportunity, not a problem.

IT Talent with New Skills and Big Aspirations

Granted, we’ve already reached an inflection point where software-as-a service offerings have made it easier for any Line of Business leader to deploy an IT solution, just-in-time. However, being able to attain the much broader business agility benefits — that are truly possible with cloud computing — requires a comprehensive strategic plan.

Now’s the time to encourage and coax your business unit leaders and open-minded IT managers to work together and collaborate on mutually beneficial projects. If you need help to bring this essential project orchestration together, then consider seeking out an accomplished pioneer.

Companies with an evolved ecosystem of integration channel partners, such as Cisco, has the depth and breadth of information, education and guidance resources that today’s forward thinking leaders need to execute their multifaceted cloud-enabled strategies.

Why Cloud Service Brokering Really Matters

By increasing their inherent sourcing flexibility, your current business technology managers can more successfully assume the role as a broker of IT services — thereby increasing transparency, and better aligning your business and IT agendas into a cohesive plan.

A valued and trusted broker, in this context, is an individual or group within your own IT team that acts as a mediator between the Line of Business end-user of a managed cloud service capability and the providers of that service offering.

But how does a top performing IT department gain the trust to carry out this evolving role?

What’s needed is a comprehensive, consistent cloud strategy that will offer an enlightened perspective, provide compelling direction, and build confidence in your IT team’s enabling platform procurement decisions.

As an example, when acting as a credible service broker, just imagine how your IT team can now take full advantage of multiple sourcing options and become a value-added intermediary of cloud services for their Line of Business internal customers. Now, that’s the makings of a solid foundation for a meaningful partnership and substantive progress towards your bold goal.

So, are you ready to enhance your business flexibility with a choice of consumption models in the world of many clouds? Are you fully prepared to embrace the emerging hybrid cloud era?