Thursday, August 09, 2012

The Bottom Line Of Moving To Hosted Services In The Cloud

The bottom line in all new or proposed service deployments - whether to a cloud service or not - are

a] the requirements specification and

b] the outcomes of the risk and impacts analyses.

Moving to hosted services in a/the cloud just because one can, or just because it's fashionable, or for any other reason than directly quantifiable need when measured against the potential risks and impacts of doing so is, quite simply, idiocy.

This is not to say that there are no benefits in such services, but too many businesses make such decisions for the wrong reasons and without adequate information about the alternatives or options and the constraints or limitations of each of those options informing their eventual decisions. This is very bad business practice and even worse IT practice.

Your IT expenditures are probably going to be reduced which is a good thing. Your overall perceived value might seem better. But beware of the new and very interesting single points of failure that are created.

More specifically if you outsource your IT, will your network links be able to cope with it?

What happens if your provider goes bankrupt, will you follow suit?

Can you get desktop support from a team that has never seen a windows client?

Can you get desktop support at all?

Does your server and work disappear if you power it off by accident? Can you get a local copy for your data easily ? Can someone else get a copy of your data?

If your accountant leaves do you still have access to your financial data ?

If your HR leaves , do you still ....

etc. etc. ad nauseam.

Before jumping in, review and test the waters.

Will it improve your business? Not really, IT does not improve business any more, it is people, processes, and culture that improve businesses. Swapping providers will at best give you fractional overall savings.

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