Too many people on the business and IT side alike seem to think that moving to an off-premises (cloud or “aaS”) solution will also relieve them of the obligation to think things through. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I’m all in favor of cloud solutions. Until I moved it onto my own site, this blog lived its first 50 posts in the cloud, and my other one remains on Linked-In (also a cloud). This site is managed as a service. The template that this site is built on is managed remotely. My email is in the cloud, as is my storage. My video assets live on another cloud (YouTube).
But I also have a physical backup of key stuff. I’m not so worried about their servers going down, as I’m using well-established providers … but I might want to change providers some day.
“In the cloud” is just another way of saying”outsourced”. The provider may well be able to do things more efficiently or proficiently than your organization would, because they have economy of scale and a single focus on doing that thing right. But if you put “the cloud” on auto-pilot, the cloud owner is going to do one of two things:
- provide you with exactly what you paid for, whether you need it or not, and nothing that you didn’t pay for, whether you need it or not, OR
- do things exactly they way they always do it, even if that doesn’t work for your business needs. The number one area where this will bite you is security, followed closely by integration.
You’t afford to put your brain on auto-pilot. It’s still your business. Before turning over the keys to a third party, make sure you:
- Know where you want to go [business objective and requirements]
- Know what your expectation is of the place you want to get to [technical and compliance requirements]
- Know who you’re placing all this trust in [vendor selection and management]
If that sounds all too woo-woo for you, here it is in PM-speak:
- Know your business objective and requirements
- Know your technical and compliance requirements
- Select and manager your vendor with the level of care appropriate for betting a significant portion of your business on a successful outcome