Cloud computing, the consumerisation of IT and BYOD have all placed increased demands on the CIO, with many coming under pressure to improve the efficiency of IT operations and free up funds for new investments.  In the past, decisions, such as the choice of service provider, were left up to the CIO, but with the increasing popularity of the cloud, these sorts of decisions are increasingly being made elsewhere. As a result CIOs are finding themselves in a precarious position; if they can match the perceived low cost and flexibility of the cloud, then at best they will find their role diminished, but at worst, sidelined altogether.
The decision to move to the cloud is primarily a business decision; on paper it appears to be an easy solution to cutting costs and streamlining the organisation. However, the challenge faced by the CIO is how to best provision the highly flexible and low cost systems that the business now expects.
It is highly unlikely that a business’ IT service could possibly be met by cloud based solutions but a combination of a cloud and conventional delivery model would be attractive. Experience shows that if these two entities are to interact successfully, the IT department will need to acquire new skills and take on new roles if they are to support the business in getting the best out of such new sourcing arrangements.  
It is here where Service Integration can help; offering the business the flexibility that cloud offers, but with the levels of control the IT department would like to retain. It helps organisations enable separate IT services to consistently work together in order to deliver real business benefits while managing the sprawling IT landscape.
It represents a major step towards empowering the CIO to support the business and add value as cloud service adoption accelerates. It may sound simplistic but with clearly defined services it is possible for the IT department to retain its place as an integral part of the IT supply chain, albeit with a different skill-set requirement, and instead of becoming sidelined it has the opportunity to become the businesses rainmaker.