Okay, my title is a bit of play on “Send in the Clowns”. It’s a song of regret but I don’t know much more than that. I just know I like anything sung by Sinatra and written by Sondheim. Okay, now back to my post. What am I trying to say here?
My point is that marketers have done a great job of promoting “The Cloud” and moving all your IT resources into it. (“let us take care of your software, hardware, support so you can sit back and relax”). Technologists have also been quite successful in actually making this all work. So this makes it real easy for the typical business right? Wrong! It’s actually made your life harder because there are so many choices. You have more choices than you did two months, two days or even two minutes ago. So what is the typical business person to do?
1. Move slowly. A hybrid approach works best. Most organizations are selectively moving pieces of their internal network to the cloud. The most common example being email because it can carry high administrative costs and it’s the easiest to migrate.
2. Make sure you’re engaging “true” consultants. By this I mean: they are independent of the products and services they recommend. Or at least, they get very little in the way of commissions, kick backs and the like. We all need to make a profit to stay in business; however, a good consultant addresses client needs first and foremost.
3. Don’t get sucked into being on the cutting edge. I see this sometimes with internal techies or external vendors who are looking to tinker with your stuff. They want you to be the guinea pig to further their skill set. Often times they put you into solutions that can only be managed by them. This can be very difficult if that firm or internal person moves on. Ask colleagues what they’re doing to get a feel for what is typical. Make a list and include costs so that you may compare apples to apples. Make sure that you ask at least 4 or 5 businesses because the solutions are going to be all over the map and somewhere in the middle is “reality”.
Now that I’ve given you a few simple warnings go forth and find those solutions that will help you to stay competitive, lower IT costs, and make you more productive! Nothing is perfect. Nevertheless, there is so much to love about these new cloud technologies. They truly lower the level of regret when purchasing costly IT solutions. As the song goes, “Isn’t it rich…are we a pair…you here at last…and me in mid air”