Cloud – the panacea to escalating desktop, support, and outsourcing costs and the solution to providing users with better service and the flexibility to work from wherever, has not quite lived up to its promise. Rather than lower costs, improved service, and the abilities to scale and streamline IT operations, CIOs have been confronted with challenges including incompatibility between their existing systems and processes (such as support management and measurement) and their cloud solutions. The result? They have had to acquire additional support staff with new skill sets and competencies. Some workloads, originally migrated out, has had to be brought back in. Other workloads have not been able to be supported. In extreme cases, they have lost credibility when cloud solutions — particularly today’s mission critical collaboration and messaging tools ― have failed. And, nowhere have cloud shortcomings been more evident than with Office 365.
The problems are not inherent in the software or the cloud offerings. Those CIOs who have implemented cloud have learned that it’s not as simple as it seems and that the “devil is the details”. They learned, the hard way, that success in the cloud is contingent on strong planning, continued active management, and ensuring the right questions are asked and answered; the two most critical of which are:
- Which services can be migrated to the cloud and which should remain in-house?
- How should in-house support be redesigned?