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Cloud initiatives require fresh thinking, ability to adapt

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For cloud computing to be successful, IT leaders often must change their thinking, according to James Staten, cloud expert and global head of vertical market development, strategy and planning at Equinix Inc. SearchCIO caught up with Staten at the recent CDM Media CIO Summit in Boston to discuss the challenges IT leaders face when implementing cloud initiatives. Staten said that certain skills and legacy knowledge will always be in demand, but he suggested that IT leaders need to adapt to the shifting cloud environment or risk being replaced.

What are the biggest challenges IT leaders face when implementing cloud initiatives?

James Staten: The biggest challenge that tech leaders face is assuming that the way they’ve always done it will apply to the new cloud [initiatives]. That is usually not the case. It doesn’t mean that you’re going to have to learn something completely new — there are some things that you’ve done in the past that will absolutely apply — but the way you did it is not going to be the same. That’s the first thing: Just acknowledge the fact that the way things are done in the cloud is going be WAN-centric, it’s going to be based on new protocols and new technologies, and you just have to adapt and learn how to do that.

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