Cloud Cuckoo Land?

02 Oct 2017
Posted by adrianb

It is now accepted by most of the IT world that cloud services are the way to go. The argument for the headline cost savings on offer to organisations who currently operate with a hotch-potch of self hosted and managed services, stand alone licensed products and ad-hoc legacy products do appear to be unanswerable.
The problem is that risks associated with the migration to cloud services and also with the accompanying transition phases are often underplayed.
At the same time the scale of benefits most likely to be achieved can be heavily overstated.
Under appreciation of risk and the overplaying of projected benefits are endemic in the IT project world.
SME's are most vulnerable, especially those who have not been able to / chosen not to invest in their own IT knowledge base and now feel out of their depth and exposed with their current IT operations.
Organisations who lack in-house expertise in their own systems, the cloud services on offer, and the commercial contracts that are on the table, often rely too heavily on the cloud services vendor to supply advice on the technology, service and commercial risks inherent in a move to the cloud.
Before embarking on programmes of major change to services and the supporting IT services, organisations should have a deep understanding of their existing processes and the technical architectures that enable them. If this understanding is lacking, decisions entailing major changes are bound to encounter problems that could derail efforts to save money and improve services.
Every effort should be made to identify and close knowledge gaps. Without this deep understanding of current systems, tremendous damage can result to organsiations, their customers and stakeholders.
Significantly, a lack of IT nous in senior management is often the precursor of IT project failure. With IT at the heart of almost every modern organsation of any scale, IT knowledge should always be well represented at the top table to ensure sanity checking of major IT change takes place at an appropriate stage - and always before any contracts are put on the table!