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Are you going up or downstairs?

Published on 18.03.2020

Yesterday, when I entered the lift, a colleague asked me whether I was bound ‘downstairs’, to the basement where the data center lies, or ‘upstairs’ where the CEO reigns, along with Finance and Sales. My office as Central Information Officer lies in the intermediate floor along with Administration. Operations and Marketing.

"Which floor are you going to?", he asked me.

Being an old hand in the company, he knew that usually I’m bound to my desk in the Data center and seldom I'm summoned to the C-suite.

Working in a medium-size enterprise, my job description as Central Information Officer isn’t set in the stone, could be interpreted, as happens with classical music scores. Having paid my dues, I used to interpret my role it in a conservative way, trying to rein in expenses and doing more with less. Whenever a consultant or a salesman tries to get me to buy new technologies or to adopt new approaches, my answers sound like: “I would love it, but it’s outside my budget”.

My motto is “just say no” also when colleagues ask for something that couldn’t be done with our software and hardware legacy. “It will take too long”, I answer, or “let’s try to make do with our current IT resources instead!”.


I’m a sort of vestal virgin protecting the budget. I became the defender of the legacy. It is really what I wanted to become?

I know that cloud computing is a new paradigm in IT, as the Web has been 20 years ago or personal computing 40 years ago. It is something more than a smart way of storing data or having a backup. You can really go far beyond that: server virtualization is almost a magic wand: updating to a new release 1 or 1000 clients would take a minute. More: with cloud computing, you can support any project, any need your company could have or will have in the future. A CIO could become an enabler and not just a controller.

I’ve read that the ‘Cyber’ prefix came from a Greek word that means ‘helmsman’. A CIO could really steer a company also into uncharted waters. 

Michael, 45 years old CIO in an Industrial PME is the – not so fictional – reader of the contents that in the next months we’d like to share in order to explain the potential that cloud computing opens to a company.

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