Buy or Build – or Look to the Cloud?

Once upon a time, solving a technology challenge began by first answering one basic question: Build or buy? But as NetApp CIO Cynthia Stoddard explains on, a third option is now changing how IT teams approach their challenges.

Hybrid cloud computing, Stoddard says, is changing the essential dynamic that drives decision making. “It isn’t necessarily what technology we’re using that’s important,” she says, “but instead, on whom we are relying to deliver the solution.”

New cloud services, such as Software as as Service (SaaS) and its analogs, Platform and Infrastructure as a Service (PaaS and IaaS), have reduced the risk of getting stuck on a “technology cul de sac.” The new environment has also improved organizational agility and the ability of technical teams to focus on and react quickly to business issues.

Stoddard’s advice for those responsible for technology leadership? Get on board — or be left behind. She identifies six important aspects of NetApp’s movement to a hybrid cloud environment, including:

• Providing advice and guidance on appropriate cloud solutions (the Broker Role)
• Gathering a solid understanding of cloud-provider road maps
• Adapting to evolve with the changing IT landscape

As CIO, Stoddard says, her job is to “pull the correct lever” to meet her company’s business requirements. Cloud-based solutions have presented her with many new levers to choose from.

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