5 Reasons Why Right-Brain Thinking Is Driving Cloud and IT Decisions

Have IT managers lost their minds? Or are they only using half their brains? And if so, which side are they using now? Which side might they use more of in 2015 and beyond?

The answer may surprise you. In what some might call the tale of two brains, IT managers are increasingly moving from the left side of their brain to the right. What do we mean by that?

The theory of left-brain or right-brain dominance suggests each side of the brain controls a different type of thinking. “For example, a person who is “left-brained” is often said to be more logical, analytical, and objective, while a person who is “right-brained” is said to be more intuitive, thoughtful, and subjective,” writes Kendra Cherry in Psychology Today.

There’s no denying that many IT managers are presumed to be more left-brained, due to the types of jobs they have traditionally gravitated to. They lean toward focusing on tangible technology and onsite dedicated equipment solutions, which correlates with a hardware box mentality. What else does left-side thinking mean to IT management? They tend to bring:

  • Logical, methodical, systematic planning to IT system management
  • The ability to see and articulate a direction and implement a solution
  • Sequential processing–one step leads to another–deadlines, schedules and regulations are all met
  • Great at math, as critical thinking and reasoning dominate
  • Problem-solving mentality to a situation right in front

Left-brain thinkers have dominated IT since its inception, but the increasing complexity of solutions, enabled by software, and the limitation of IT resources have caused many in IT to ”think different.”

In the same way Apple brought a different, more creative way of thinking to computing in 1997, the next generation of IT managers may not be techies. The next generation of IT managers may come from completely different backgrounds than computer science and information technology management. They will be more interested in outcomes for the business and less concerned with the technology that gets them there. Enter the world of cloud, where the right-brain IT manager is more focused on the functionality and capabilities they are providing to the business–not how is it being provided. They can leave the “how” to their cloud service provider.

These right-brained IT managers will think more subjectively, less objectively. Just as has happened in the worlds of finance, transportation, energy and design, IT is dealing in an increasingly complex world that requires intuitive, creative, big-picture problem solving. Creative approaches are causing a dramatic shift that is absolutely necessary for resource management and solutions that grow business value. All these drive the need for more right-brain thinking.

How radical is the shift?

The real question for the left-brain IT manager is “Why?”

Here are the 5 reasons why right brain thinking is increasingly needed in today’s IT managers. You can see many fit well with the drive to cloud:

Thanks to offsite application management and migration to the cloud, more than half of IT managers think of cloud first, leveraging technology that is off-premise and on the Web. Gone are the days of buying and installing pallets of equipment and running cables from x to y.

It’s about the revenue. It’s not about speeds and feeds. It’s not just the tech numbers anymore. It is not as much about driving the specs as it is about driving business goals and revenue, enhancing employee engagement and maximizing customer lifetime value.

IT managers are no longer being burdened with where to place the next server or how to keep a particular system up and running. CIOs are focusing on outcomes and productivity that drive business results.

It’s all about the Opex, not Capex. Shifting technologies and needs are leading many to look beyond investing equipment that grows old as soon as it is bought. Opex means that shifting needs can be quickly adapted to, and worrying about the next upgrade is replaced by driving adoption of the next great capability that will drive competitive advantage.

There’s an app for that. The cloud is the primary way to buy solutions that enable quick adoption of customer engagement, team engagement, and productivity solutions, leading to better business performance.

Which side of your brain dominates your thinking? The right or the left and why? How important is creativity in managing your IT environment?

Follow me on Twitter at @Pat_Patterson_V.

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