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Forecast Calls for Cloud – But with a Whole Lot of Rain to Boot

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Whenever you consider a change to how you access and control your intellectual property – especially the cloud – you need to make sure you have considered everything, so read the fine print.  In many cases, the cloud has been an indispensable addition to the IT infrastructure.  It is scalable, reasonably inexpensive (with a few of the aforementioned caveats) and is indeed remarkably flexible.  And yes, there are limitations and many times the limitations are acceptable but sometimes they’re not.  Better to find out early in the game than later.  Do your homework or better yet, enlist Syncronet to do the homework for you.By now we have seen all the press clippings and hype on how the cloud has changed the world for the better and that if you are still running your back office in the front office – well, what are you waiting for?  Havent you heard?  The cloud will single-handedly revolutionize your business!  It will make you rich, free up all of your time and probably cure baldness too!  Ok, so maybe not but you get the point.  The cloud is pretty over hyped for sure.  And as someone who has helped many clients move many of their services to the cloud, I can honestly tell you, there is a dark side.  Don’t get fooled; much of the hype does not pass further inspection and you can be sure that like everything else in life, every pro has it’s con(job).  Here is a list of some stuff that got left off of the shiny marketing brochure the cloud services guy left behind.

1.  You are not in control – of anything.
This is the hardest part for most folks.  When issues arise (and they will), you cant just march into the server room and reboot.  Nor can you pick up the phone and yell at your network service provider or bull your way into the IT guys cubicle and raise Cain.  Nope – you or your IT provider will have to fill out a support ticket and wait in the queue with everyone else.  I know you have an SLA but it is still a bit unnerving to have suddenly have given up so much control and this is the harsh reality.

2.  You still need IT support people.
So you’re getting rid of all your servers and therefore, all your IT staff as well (or your outsourced IT support as the case may be).  Good luck with that.  Who will integrate it all for you? And who will deal with the regularly scheduled cloud app updates and the invariable fallout that they cause?  And who will your conduit be when the host has issues that are affecting your ability to be profitable?  You may well cut down on some or all of your current IT costs (that’s part of the reason for your move to the cloud, yes?), but running a business without IT support is a pipedream.

3.  You don’t have much choice in terms of granularity. 
Actually, you have none.  Or next to none.  Most cloud offerings are very up to date on the software that they run but if you think that you will get to configure absolutely every little nuance and option available, you are in for a rude awakening.  It costs the providers too much money to support every known configuration and in order to keep hosting costs down, they limit it to only the most common options.  If you want / need a specific configuration, you’d best make sure it is available before you sign the dotted line.  Henry Ford said it best: “You can have any colour you like as long as it’s black.”

4.  Don’t forget the hidden costs. 
See the above – you still need IT support staff, make no mistake.  And what about bandwidth?  Do you have enough because if there is anything a cloud-based service will consume, it’s bandwidth and lots of it. Almost every cloud provider I have seen neglects to make this most critical of points.  I don’t know if it is because they don’t know, don’t care, or are just afraid to tell you because it might scuttle the deal.  But just go look at any cloud-based service offering if you don’t believe me.  You will be hard pressed to find any mention of required bandwidth.  But bandwidth costs are very real, especially here in Vancouver.  So don’t forget to add that little gem into the ROI calculator.Whenever you consider a change to how you access and control your intellectual property – especially the cloud – you need to make sure you have considered everything, so read the fine print.  In many cases, the cloud has been an indispensable addition to the IT infrastructure.  It is scalable, reasonably inexpensive (with a few of the aforementioned caveats) and is indeed remarkably flexible.  And yes, there are limitations and many times the limitations are acceptable but sometimes they’re not. Better to find out early in the game than later.  Do your homework or better yet, enlist Syncronet to do the homework for you.

cloud

Whenever you consider a change to how you access and control your intellectual property – especially the cloud – you need to make sure you have considered everything, so read the fine print.  In many cases, the cloud has been an indispensable addition to the IT infrastructure.  It is scalable, reasonably inexpensive (with a few of the aforementioned caveats) and is indeed remarkably flexible.  And yes, there are limitations and many times the limitations are acceptable but sometimes they’re not.  Better to find out early in the game than later.  Do your homework or better yet, enlist Syncronet to do the homework for you.