It’s said that business is all about making decisions before someone else makes them for you. Our days are spent working on decisions: ones we need to make now, ones we know we will have to make, and finding ways of coping with decisions we’re stuck with. Some decisions seem obvious and easy – there’s a path of least resistance – we make the decisions and move on to the next one. Cloud IT seems easy, and there are options available that look obvious and straightforward. We can make that decision and move on.
I always get a nagging voice in my head when something looks like a no-brainer – I have this worry monkey saying that I should think about it, however briefly, just in case I do something obvious with hidden consequences that I’ll regret later.
So what could be wrong? Where might the hidden dangers lie for me and my ambitions?
Could I get locked in?
You never know what’s just around the corner in this fast-moving world. Things might change internally: plans changing, new ideas and opportunities. It could be that something happens out there: a new technology or service that would be great to add on, or a new country where customers are eager for what you do. How easy is it to change if it’s needed? Can I lift and shift if I have to? What would that cost in time and money? If it’s not easy to move, and it’s never that simple, does that mean I could get trapped?
What kind of supplier will I have to deal with?
We all get frustrated with music on hold, emails not getting answered, a supplier that doesn’t seem to know you exist: “your call is important to us, please hold”. I don’t know about you, but I never phone a supplier for a chat – I only call when there’s something I really, really, need. What kind of supplier do you need? Will the supplier you’re considering know that you exist? Requirements will change, problems will arise, and FAQs or a chatbot are just not enough when your business depends on it. Worse, suppliers have ideas too, and change what they do. Services get altered, even discontinued, prices change. What happens to the customer then?
Do I know all I need to know?
This is where my worry monkey stands up on his hind legs. It’s so easy to get started, only to find that there are implications you’d not factored in. Cloud services look enticing: you can spin up all sorts of infrastructure at will, but who’s going to do that? Who’s going to monitor and manage the infrastructure you depend on? That workload needs your resources, and those skilled people must come from somewhere. Will they have to get pulled off more valuable work or be hired in, creating either a distraction or extra cost? Will that be a real problem just at the moment when you’re responding to rapid growth or change?
If all this Cloud stuff is so easy to spin up and get running, how’s that going to be co-ordinated and guided? IT sprawl isn’t just a problem in the world of physical boxes. Crucially, what is the impact going to be on costs? Extra services mean extra costs. Worse, do you have adequate control over the costs at any point, when you pay for what you use but may not know what that is?
Think about it….
What is it they say? “Act in haste, repent at leisure.”
Peter Osborn, Chairman, Flexiion
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