Drifting Clouds: A Case Study of IT Transformation at eni
In this paper, we investigate how cloud computing can be seen as a planned result or perhaps a consequence of IT transformation initiatives. To this end we discuss the case of eni, a multinational utility corporation based in Italy. The analysis has been carried out following an interpretative perspective, on the basis of the observation of the current structuring of the infrastructure in relation to IT transformation strategy. The latter has been considered in general, thus, independently from the existence or lack of a clear cloud strategy at business level rather than at IT level. Contrary to other contributions we first focus on IT transformation, showing how in the considered case the principles of simplification and virtualization create shared understadings suitable to facilitate the idea of cloud computing as “the next step”. Thus, the main contribution of the paper is to show how cloud computing initiatives may rise from drifting of other unrelated IT transformation strategies rather than from a clear top down cloud computing strategy. To this end, state of the art dimensions are used to identify different steps of a path for the emerging of cloud computing infrastructure, pointing out the role of openness and modularity.