Thoughts on what businesses actually need from the Cloud, not what vendors wish they needed.

Chris Bliss

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No Tecknolegy: Five Costs of Inaction, or Why Cloud Computing Makes Sense

When a game changer like cloud computing comes along, undue conservatism becomes increasingly costly

It’s easy to always say no. Your systems function, the processes are clear, it works. Why invest in cloud computing if nothing is broken? What’s wrong with inaction?

We hear that sentiment all the time and it’s easily understood. Business owners are risk adverse and they don’t want to fall for short-term fads, especially with the backbone of their business (IT). That’s commendable. Unfortunately, when a game changer like cloud computing comes along, undue conservatism becomes increasingly costly. Here’s why.

1. When you overlook meaningful trends you then lend a strong competitive edge to early adopters. For example, if your competition’s sales team is linked in via mobile, cloud-based sales pipelining tools, and your team is still struggling to access your on-site server and wonky on-premise CRM, what chance do you stand in competitive bidding? It’s like fighting muskets with spears.

2. Antiquated systems make it harder to attract new talent. Want to hire that new Harvard grad or the international conference superstar? Good luck if you can’t show you’re a forward looking enterprise. Kids want iPads and Gmail, not Franklin day-planners and Outlook.

3. Today’s clients may well be here to stay but tomorrow’s clients are a harder bunch. If you can’t keep up with the times then you risk cutting off your ability to connect with and capitalize on new opportunities. You might get by today, but if tomorrow you don’t understand Twitter or can’t collaborate with GDocs then prospective clients won’t “get” you  (and you won’t “get” them).

4. You’re spending too much money. This isn’t always true, but in general on-premise solutions cost more than cloud-based ones. The high up-front cost of on-premise software often equates to around 5 years of cloud-based services and doesn’t include the added cost of upgrades and bug fixes.

5. You’re not getting the experience you deserve. The “usability” cost of not changing is often overlooked, but arguably is the strongest of all. Cloud-computing offers enriched user experiences that increase productivity and user happiness. You use computers everyday – why make it more painful than it has to be?

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More Stories By Chris Bliss

Chris Bliss works at VM Associates, an end-user consultancy for businesses looking to move to the cloud from pre-existing legacy systems.