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Cloud services: What you and your customers stand to gain

Cloud services: What you and your customers stand to gain

Instead of trying to provide cloud services as quickly as possible, take time to determine what data formats and processes can be standardized and you'll yield a better system for both you and your customers

Consolidate data and processes. By offering new customer-facing services through the cloud -- or repackaging existing services -- companies also enjoy the benefit of new access to previously siloed data for internal use. Instead of trying to provide cloud services as quickly as possible, take time to determine what data formats and processes can be standardized and you'll yield a better system for both you and your customers.

Provide access everywhere for all. It's not only customers who want service on mobile devices. Create policies to let internal users take advantage of your newly mobile applications.

Educate staff about business. IT staff will have to become knowledgeable about their company's mission, not just processes, to develop customer-facing services.

Make everyone a risk manager. The security and privacy concerns surrounding cloud services have made even non-technical ­managers examine their risk thresholds.

Gain new champions. Executive buy-in is a must, but cloud services can result in broad word-of-mouth support for IT's role in delivering customer value.

Insights collected from participants at the CIO Perspectives Forums in New York City (April 21, 2010) and Boston (June 16, 2010). Register for an upcoming CIO Perspectives Forum in your area at www.cio.com/executive-programs.

Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.

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