Don’t put cloud before outcomes

Chris Miller
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All too often I see buyers requesting cloud-provisioned solutions before they’ve really understood why they or their business need it. Is this due to marketing hype? I think so.

Simply put, ‘cloud’ is the delivery mechanism. It’s true that it changes infrastructure and cashflow requirements, but it doesn’t solve business challenges in itself. Thinking the cloud will magically meet all your business computing needs is like thinking that a new motorway will somehow transport you to your destination (you still need a vehicle).

When it comes to the challenges we typically see from our clients and prospects, common ones are:

  • Duplicated data entry
  • Lack of centralised information
  • Lack of visibility across operational activities
  • Competing sources of the truth
  • Reporting (too much reliance on Excel tables with inaccurate data).

It’s important to resolve these challenges and problems independently from a decision to go the cloud. That’s why there’s a danger in starting the buying process by saying “it must be cloud….”. We’ve have certainly found that when prospective clients start their conversation with “cloud” we have some work to do in understanding motivations.

Cloud has so many meanings, a hybrid cloud approach for example can save you replacing your current solution if “cloud” really is the driver. It’s also true that mobility is a factor as well and providing services to remote staff may be achieved without cloud at all. Of course, a cloud solution nicely meets the requirements for those wanting no internal infrastructure and less capital investment in architecture.

It’s important to keep in mind that more often than not, your current solution can be hosted for you (i.e. a hybrid cloud solution).

Modern software, while currently installed on your own infrastructure, doesn’t have to be replaced simply because someone determines the need for a cloud solution. The reality of using a “pure cloud” application to meet your needs may involve some compromises which are not in the best interest of the business as a whole. The less painful option is that you can keep what you have and simply serve it to your business in a different way.

For instance, we now provide MYOB Greentree in the cloud without buyers having to procure or manage infrastructure. The solution is cloud-based, and it ticks so many boxes, not just the delivery mechanism. While the architecture wasn’t originally meant for cloud deployment, it’s a good option if you have MYOB Greentree and are looking for a cloud solution, as it’s:

  • A proven and mature platform
  • Feature rich and good value for money
  • Minimally disruptive to your business compared to procuring and supporting a completely new solution.

Don’t misunderstand us; we sell and support both pure cloud, hybrid cloud and on-premise solutions, but it’s always horses for courses. Business requirements are not solely met by seeking cloud provisioning.

If you want to some friendly advice on what horse suits your course, please get in touch. You can also download this resource for some more discussion on cloud computing: ‘’Moving to the cloud: A guide to cloud business management technology’’.

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