CIOs tend to over-think cloud adoption: Ex-Dow Jones CIO


CIOs tend to over-think cloud adoption: Ex-Dow Jones CIO

By Edwin YappJun 02, 2015
  • ‘Analysis-paralysis’ trap exists; don’t over-think it, just try it
  • CIOs to be more customer-oriented in a cloud-enabled world

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IT’S not every day you meet a senior IT executive who’s roaring to get into cloud computing, but for Stephen Orban, head of enterprise strategy at Amazon Web Services (AWS), adopting cloud computing was one of the best decisions he ever made as an ‘IT guy.’

But then, wouldn’t you expect that out of an executive who works for AWS?

Orban, however, isn’t your average vendor executive, having spent the better part of his career as an end-user in large media companies.

Prior to joining AWS, Orban was the chief information officer (CIO) of Dow Jones & Company, where he introduced modern software development methodologies, reduced costs, and administered a ‘cloud-first’ policy within the organisation.

These transformational changes accelerated product development cycles and increased productivity across all lines of Dow Jones’ business, including The Wall Street Journal (WSJ),, Dow Jones Newswires, and Factiva, according to his curriculum vitae.

Before that, he spent 11 years at Bloomberg LP, moving through various roles before landing the job of chief technical officer of Bloomberg Sports in 2008.

Orban, who was the main keynote speaker at AWS’ inaugural Summit and Developer Day in Kuala Lumpur recently, said if there is one thing he learnt in IT, it was that too many senior IT executives over-think things when it comes to the cloud and whether they should adopt it or not.

“I do find some companies fall into the ‘analysis paralysis’ trap – that they try to solve problems before they encounter them,” he said.

“Doing this, it will take you forever to get onto the cloud as you’re planning to mitigate against problems that may or may not happen.

“Don’t over-think it. Give it a shot and prove to yourself whether you can do it or not, as it can be just a few days’ exercise. Try something and I’m pretty confident you’ll understand why so many people are heading in this direction,” he added.

Easier said than done, perhaps, but having ‘been there and done that,’ Orban is very confident of his advice and urged others at the helm of their own IT organisations to take the plunge.




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