As the use of cloud computing proliferates, the ability to access applications via the network without having a defined path or structure to them, we also seem to be proliferating “Cloud Management”. Cloud management is the creation of a matrix structured organization where both responsibilities and reporting structures are overlapped.
Cloud management can occur when Sales reports via a geographic structure, Operations, Marketing and Support report into functional structures and customers are organized by vertical market alignments. The cloud gets worse when none of these reporting structures converge until the very senior most levels in the organization.
The net result is that usually each reporting structure begins to duplicate aspects of the other functions due to the number and difficulty of management hand-offs and the lack of overall alignment. Sales will create operations and support “like” groups, operations will create sales and support “like” groups,etc. to make sure that their needs are looked after.
When multiple groups have similar responsibilities, it ends up that no group has final responsibility.One group will always think another has the responsibility, and can point somewhere else when the goal is not achieved. The matrix organization structure can be very elegant in theory, but very difficult to implement and work well. Organizations where reporting structures, responsibilities and objectives are clear, simple and defined reduce functional overlap and clear up the business confusion that the “Cloud”can create.