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EVP Sales of MindTouch. Mark has advised many start ups including a social networking site that was sold to Barry Diller's IAC.  Before joining MindTouch, Mark led global sales efforts as an Executive Vice President for a publicly traded company, headed sales efforts for a technology division of AT Kearney and EDS, and served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for a Singapore based corporation. Mark blogs at Seek Omega

4 responses to “Why SaaS and the Amazon Virtual Private Cloud Will Steal Your IT Job and What You Can do About it”

  1. Sam Montes

    I have to echo some of the comments by Fidelman. IT is not strategic but I believe that IT is farther along than Fidelman believes. They do see the writing on the walls and are moving in that direction.

  2. AjayDawar

    Mark,

    What a wonderful and insightful post. We at PivotLink are seeing the same pattern. Most Business Intelligence projects get stuck in IT for too long because the IT staff was hired based on knowing how the technology worked and not how it solves the final need of the business – getting insights and analysis.
    We have been telling our prospects to unburden IT from the mundane activities of keeping the servers running, monitoring data loads, rebuilding indexes etc. and refocus. That’s the key – Refocus.
    Refocus on business processes, ensuring data quality, gathering cross-departmental requirements, ensuring that we as Cloud vendors can meet the requirements and the service levels needed by the business. IT needs to change their role – they need to be more like product managers in a software company – who gather requirements to create products that align with customer needs. I was presenting to a prospect yesterday and when we showed them what we could do, this enlightened VP of IT said – “Wow. If you could really take care of all this complex BI that we have, we can focus on how we can make the results more consumable through mashups”.

    The movement of the hardware and software to the Cloud reflects another macro-economic reality that has a significant impact on IT. In the mid-90s 50% of CAPEX of US companies was spent in technology. This fixed infrastructure became a huge drain on earnings when the downturn hit. In 2001 companies had few options. In 2008 they had SaaS options. This is showing up in the strong business results posted by Salesforce.com and Netsuite. Going forward, the right way to buy technology will be Cloud – it can be adjusted with the ups and downs of the business.
    IT will still have a better role – someone will have to understand what technology can do, just that it will be more strategic. I think the movement to cloud is good for IT and business.

  3. matmik

    Mark,
    This is coming up more often. Now is the time for IT to make a key cultural and organization shift to respond to SaaS and cloud demands. In my blog, I pointed out that line-of-business if moving into these applications so IT must catch up or be left behind.
    http://blogs.sas.com/sascom/index.php?/archives/542-Why-IT-should-embrace-SaaS-and-cloud-computing.html

    Having sold software myself of over 10+ years, I know IT can become very ‘inward’ thinking by laying out a set of IT standards (db, hardware) often keeping innovative software products out. This is often at the detriment of business itself. For years, companies were unhappy with the reporting tools in their ERP products. One ERP vendor created their ‘approved’ list of complimentary products and IT used this to keep out all the others. Of course, business users wanted their own choices.

    I think IT can play a huge role in data extraction, collection, and cleaning for business. If they try to keep their role as controller or approver of these SaaS applications, they’ll only loose favor with the business.

  4. Mark Fidelman

    Thanks for all the comments. I do hope IT becomes more strategic and is able to further support business managers. I have a lot of concern however, and don’t see IT investing in this area.