Burger barn put cloud on IT menu, burned out its developers

Move to the cloud and you may need 'vendor managers' and more governance

In Australia fast-food history played out differently to the rest of the world and the nation no longer has Burger King. So when you want a Whopper down under you head to a chain called “Hungry Jack's” that is pretty much a BK clone.

We mention the burger barn because Vulture South today encountered its CIO Bruce Nolte, who told a tale of replacing bespoke business applications with bits of Oracle's cloud.* Doing so has made for interesting news on his sub-20 IT team, especially for the team of five developers. They're on the way out because with the old code gone, the old coders can go too.

In their place, Nolte said he'll hire “vendor managers,” people skilled in maintaining relationships with vendors, keeping contracts humming along nicely and negotiating for the new stuff that Hungry Jack's needs. Nolte thinks some of his developers have the brains to make the jump to this new role, but not the proclivity. He characterised his developers as “fiddlers and tweakers” who are unlikely to abandon their coding careers.

Another quick lesson in Australian institutions: the nation's dominant auto club is the National Roads and Motorists Association (NRMA) and its general manager of marketing Jana Kotatko also spoke within earshot of Vulture South today.

Kotatko has just signed up for a marketing cloud and said one of the problems it has created is it's too easy to run campaigns, because she and her team now have lots of data at their fingertips. She's therefore been surprised at the amount of governance she has to do, lest marketers go wild with campaigns that target people from the wrong lists, breaching policy or good taste along the way.

We mention Nolte and Kotatko's experiences as a sequel of sorts to yesterday's story on the extra products needed to make software-as-a-service succeed, because we can now see there are other things to learn when going cloudy. And we expect there are plenty more we are yet to ponder, or articulate. Feel free to share them in comments or by dropping me a line. ®

* This all happened at an Oracle press event, over a very pleasant lunch that included a side of a whole baked head of cauliflower in a bowl. It looked like a brain being served up to zombies.

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