Thinking of… Buying a Cloud Solution? Ask the Smart Questions
This has all the questions that you need to ask yourself and your teams before you purchase a cloud solution. Warning: it is NOT A fun read, but it is critically important and less unpleasant than getting it wrong.
“It seemed to be a no-brainer. We could swap out our clunky home-grown system and be up and running in days with a new CRM solution. Better still, we didn’t need to deal with our internal IT department who just ‘love to say No’.
The business case stacked up. We did all the background checks on the vendor’s website and made some reference calls to clients in similar businesses to our own. Getting access to the service was really straightforward and the vendor’s support team was first class.
So where did it all go wrong?
One of our major Government customers performed a routine audit and discovered that the data held on them in our new CRM system, which we proudly showed them, is held on servers outside the country. And this breaches some law or policy or something. They didn’t give us specifics. But they were very clear about the consequences. We’ve been struck off their Preferred Vendor List, destroying 5 years of hard work and investment by our Public Sector team. The team is now suicidal.”
Cloud Computing is in vogue
Cloud Computing is the in-vogue name for the model of providing software from a remote location, over a network, where the organization using the software does not have to be involved with the day to day running of it.
It clearly has great benefits, but also comes with risks. But not all the risks are that obvious hence the need for this book. But first we need to agree some definitions.
Originally the generally accepted term was Software as a Service. The use of the word service was based on the association with other “services” that we just use without being concerned about the complexities behind the scenes e.g. the telephone, the supply of electricity, the use of our Visa card.
As more people have started writing about and promoting the approach there has been an explosion in acronyms making it difficult to differentiate between SaaS, PaaS, S+S, DaaS, ASP, On-Demand or Utility. So this book uses “Cloud Computing” which seems to be the umbrella term that is gaining traction and is being used almost universally. The new term is based on the services being provided by servers which are in the Cloud.