By Stephen Boardman, Business Development Director, Managed 24/7

Over the past decade, CIOs (chief information officers) have started to transform the quality of IT performance information to better support strategic decision making.

While still constrained by the challenge of implementing and maintaining the diverse monitoring systems required to provide in depth insight, there is no doubt that many CIOs are working hard to deliver more information about user experience, system productivity and trends in performance.

Any gain in IT insight disappears, however, when systems are moved to the cloud. Shift the on-premise infrastructure to either public or private cloud and the CIO is at the mercy of third parties with little or no vested interest in delivering relevant information. There will be no insight into how systems are actually performing; no flagging of concerns regarding potential problems downstream that could affect user productivity; no insight into the alignment of infrastructure with the business roadmap. Go to a public cloud such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon AWS and the information is even more limited.

So where does that leave the CIO when the board starts grumbling that email performance has dropped since the move to the cloud? Or more critically, when asked what additional investment would be required to support a key new business opportunity?

CIOs appear to be faced with a stark choice: opt for the financial benefits of the cloud and lose any hard won improvements in strategic insight. It doesn’t have to be this way. A fully comprehensive monitoring service that can run across on-premise, public and private cloud infrastructures fundamentally changes the game for CIOs. With real time monitoring across the entire infrastructure, combined with business intelligence, a CIO can not only track performance and map that back to user experience today but also accurately predict requirements well in advance.

The pressure on the CIO continues to mount – especially as other parts of the business begin to explore big data to gain greater operational insight. With data driven decision making at board level, the CIO needs to be able to demonstrate with confidence how the infrastructure is performing today but also be able to predict accurately the needs for the next two, three or four years ahead.

The good news is that there is no need to be torn between the cost benefits of the cloud and the board-level demand for detailed, strategic insight into both current performance and future requirements. With deep dive, infrastructure wide performance insight across on-premise, public and private cloud, CIOs gain the best of both worlds - there is no longer any need to compromise.