Cloudy Benefits?

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting Inc., an Ontario, Canada-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

The cloud isn’t going away. The big names in mass market technology are investing heavily in cloud computing and the concept seems set to become more than just the next big thing. But how many organizations are moving to the cloud with a full understanding of the costs and benefits that will result? The technology is ready at a time in the economy when lower cost solutions are extremely attractive--and when those advertised savings are combined with words like “workspace” and “collaboration” it’s easy to see why they are proving so popular.

Now I don’t intend to sound cynical; I believe that cloud-based solutions can deliver significant benefits--be it in project management or any number of other areas. But I am concerned that organizations are rushing into these solutions without fully understanding the implications on their business. In this article, I want to try and flag some of the things that need to be considered before committing to moving to the cloud. Every company will make the decision that it feels is right--I just want to try and ensure that all considerations are factored in.

There are lots of hidden costs
The financial argument in favor of cloud-based solutions is an obvious one. Companies don’t need to invest in their own costly IT infrastructure and support; they can leverage the cloud and move to a …

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