As cloud computing projects get under way, the demand for cloud savvy business analysts is going to outstrip demand. Cloud computing introduces more than just technical changes as it forces changes to IT processes and alters the way that the business interacts with its customers.
The most obvious areas are in compliance, risk and security. While cloud computing may be satisfactory for many regulations and internal guidelines, those assumptions need to be checked against the particular business scenario. The myths surrounding any framework influenced by regulations, such as the offsite or offshore storage of data, need to be unpicked and understood in detail by referencing back to the original regulations and laws that may be relevant. This is no simple task and requires a high level of credibility, commitment and specialist knowledge.
Legacy ERP Out of Favour
The disassembly of centralised monolithic enterprise systems into a loosely coupled conglomeration of on and off premise solutions changes many of the underlying business processes that currently exist to enforce the quirks and whims of a particular package. Cloud computing, in it’s guise as the next stage of the largely unsuccessful SOA (Service Oriented Architecture), offers the promise that cloud computing will deliver the computing services needed by business rather than being constrained and force fed the services offered by the incumbent ERP system. While technically we may be able to describe the loose coupling easily, the business analyst has a crucial role to play in understanding how existing processes need to change and how to ensure that processes key to the success of the business do not become victims of the process cull.
Alignment of Business and Cloud Models
The scalability and operational cost models of cloud computing allows business cases to be considered that would normally be considered too expensive or risky and now these opportunities can be snapped up by smaller departments and smaller businesses. The fundamental question that the business analyst needs to ask is “If cost, availability and lead times of IT were not constraints, where are the bottlenecks and how would you do things differently?”
No amount of technical brilliance will get cloud computing solutions adopted without business analysts who understand the vision, possibilities and pitfalls of cloud computing. Cloud computing is considered by most to be over hyped and fraught with danger and a cloud computing team needs people who understand the business intimately in order to help them buy into the clodu computing vision.
Disclaimer: This is not a complete list and there is a long traditional of miscommunication between developers and business analysts which needs to be upheld
The ‘Who Should Know About Cloud Computing’ Series
This post is part of a series of posts for non technical roles, which you can follow from the links below