A recent blogpost in the Wall Street Journal raised the concern that Cloud innovation, in particular by Salesforce.com, may be disruptive to IT and business leader relationships, partly because they may be occurring at a pace too rapid for IT leaders to handle well.

The pace of innovation that Salesforce sets has been the underlying beat of change in the software technology industry for the past ten years at least. Our view of the pace of that innovation is in contrast to some others. The real innovation that we see is the degree of integration and management discipline that Salesforce has accomplished in combining application and development solutions.

Sixty years ago in the Harvard Business Review, Robert Valente of John Hancock Mutual noted that IT leaders were procedural and embraced formal processes as their modus operandi, much like the algorithms that the computers they managed operated upon. On the opposite side of the room sat business end users who were interested only in getting information and results. If they could get that without computers it would be fine with them, but computer technology was something of a necessary evil.

We see much the same situation today. Business users want to speed up the pace of innovation to generate revenues, while IT managers are far more concerned with process, policy and procedure.

However, Innovation is the symbol of today’s transformation from traditional IT and business architectures into what Saugatuck calls the Boundary-free Enterprise, embracing Cloud IT integrated with on-premises business solutions and leverages collaboration, mobility, social networking and data analytics. CIOs and other IT leaders understand this and are learning to keep pace while enabling productive and secure processes, policies and procedures.

An excellent example of this is Saugatuck’s annual Cloud Business Summit in New York City, at the Westin Times Square on November 14, 2012, where we will bring together IT and business leaders to discuss business and technological innovation enabled by the Cloud, including best practices for managing the ever-accelerating pace of IT and business innovation. Click on the link above for more information, or register by clicking here.

This blog originally appeared at Saugatuck Lens360.

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