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Rick Parry, AIGSRick Parry, AIGS

Although lauded as a business solution that will dramatically lower costs and allow for improved services, with proportionate marketing hype about how discerning enterprises should migrate to the cloud if they have any hopes of survival, many have been disappointed by the results.

Despite the fact that the theory of cloud cost benefits has been much-publicised, this has not always been the case in practice. Many companies find themselves running two systems, on-site and off-site, as poor connectivity and the threat of downtime means core applications cannot be fully surrendered to the virtual space.

In addition, as cloud technology is still at the development stage, so are the IT skill sets that should accompany cloud strategies. There are very few true cloud “experts” operating in the marketplace, and implementation can often prove too tricky for in-house staff members.

But that is not to say cloud computing is flawed or that any enterprise should wholly abandon the system. In fact, it is crucial that businesses start preparing to implement cloud-based services and solutions in their organisation within the next few years if they hope to compete.

I have no doubt the expansion of the cloud will be widespread and all-encompassing very soon. But, I always know that whatever we think it will look like in a few years will be quite different in reality.

My advice to businesses that are considering using cloud-based solutions is to examine their motives for doing so very carefully. In many instances, the cloud has been a solution looking for a problem, and companies have been getting caught up in the hype. The question you should ask is: is the cloud solution I want to implement meeting a problem? The technology has to meet the business needs and be driven by that alone.

Plan for the cloud, but tread carefully and use the needs of your business as your compass.

About the author: is MD of AIGS.