Coca-Cola CIO: Cloud allows me to transform my IT team into business professionals

As Coca-Cola Bottling Co Consolidated moves its non core and mission critical systems onto the cloud in the next three to five years, the IT team will be transformed to business-centric roles, Onyeka Nchege told the Cloud World Forum today.


As Coca-Cola Bottling Co Consolidated moves its mission critical systems onto the cloud in the next three to five years, the IT team will be transformed into business-centric roles, the company’s CIO told the Cloud World Forum today.

The 100-year-old “bricks and mortar” organisation began moving its non mission-critical systems, like HR, to a private cloud six months ago and plans to move everything off-premise within five years.

This means, Coca-Cola Co Consolidated's CIO Onyeka Nchege told the conference, that the soft drinks bottling company's IT team will be transformed from technology heavyweights to a leaner team that can provide technical support but work primarily with business partners, as communicating with the business is a crucial part of helping the traditional company move to the cloud.

Nchege said: "On the infrastructure side, the move to cloud hasn't necessarily affected me yet as I manage two environments today. In the future, what I expect to happen is that I will ramp-down the number of employees I have, from an infrastructure perspective, as I move to the cloud.

“What I will be looking for in my team are IT associates that are facing my business partners and spend all of their time understanding business processes and translating that to services. That's essentially what we're recruiting for today - resources that can span from business perspective and have a strong technical aptitude."

Nchege would not disclose who Coca Cola will be using to host its systems but said that the company would definitely integrate public cloud for its software that relates to non-critical applications. Further, he said Coca Cola is “in conversation” with its provider to take advantage of its public cloud application offerings which could be applied to its core ERP.

So far, the CIO added, hosting in the cloud has allowed similar agility and “speed to react to changes as I would with on-premise”.

He advised older enterprises considering the move off-premise that one of his most important lessons was that, “you have to educate your business partners” to pave the way for the change.

He said: “The reality is that as a 100-year-old organisation, we are not that agile, or nimble in everything we do. We are moving to the cloud in a year, and we have learnt that it is all about adaptability. Adaptability is the ability to foresee and make changes around that. Make sure you are educating your business partners about what the cloud is.”

In 2013 Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) switched from its 'cumbersome' SAP CRM to Salesforce on mobile, which was rolled out to 2,000 sales reps across Western Europe.

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