Today, with the help of Techaisle, Dell Cloud Business Applications released a study revealing a shift in traditional IT as we know it, particularly for growing businesses taking advantage of cloud business applications. In 2012 and beyond, cloud application adoption will continue to rise with small and medium business early adopters adding an average of three new applications in 2012. With 54 citing their IT department as key a decision maker in cloud application adoption, let’s explore the primary elements that encompass the new role of the IT manager.

The Cloud Services Broker

With traditional on-premise applications, IT managers would devote a significant amount of their time to making sure every piece of the technology was running smoothly, fixing bugs along the way and ensuring maximum efficiency whereas cloud-based applications are hosted and managed offsite “in the cloud” (i.e. over an internet connection). As the application is hosted elsewhere, the IT manager now needs to shift focus to managing the relationship with the cloud application provider to ensure they’re achieving their goals and configuring the application appropriately or as some call it, taking on the role of the cloud services broker.

Identifying a Trusted Advisor

Securing a cloud applications provider who will serve as a trusted advisor is an essential first step to ensuring your cloud application implementation works according to your needs. The right vendor will not only work with you to determine the best cloud solutions for your business but help you implement them. With Dell Cloud Business Applications, Dell provides a family of trusted, integrated cloud applications and turnkey services that enable new business processes and deliver rapid time to value.

Crystal Clear Communication

IT managers represent their business to the cloud vendor by clearly communicating both long and short-term goals as well as anticipated barriers to those goals. Having in-depth awareness of these aspirations and pain points puts IT managers in a great position to work side by side with their chosen cloud vendor, developing a set of solutions that enable the business to work more efficiently. In addition, they can monitor for opportunities to improve the existing set of cloud solutions based on their evolving needs.

So, IT managers, how will you ensure you’re the best cloud broker for your business? Let us know what you think in the comments below.