Enterprise Software

Are executive expectations in the Cloud?

There's a sentiment changing among executives today that the Cloud should be easier and less costly than purchasing software. But is this really true?

There's a sentiment changing among executives today that the Cloud should be easier and less costly than purchasing software.

But is this really true?

If we look at a mid-market ERP like MS Dynamics GP and compare it to it's online cousin, SaaS (on-Demand) Dynamics GP, we find that not only are they similar, they are the same thing!

The only difference between these two is that the pricing is substantially different and so is the way that it is paid for (subscription vs. one-time fee + maintenance) and accessed by the end user.

So how do we, as IT professionals, explain this to the higher-ups? Easy: A picture speaks 1,000 words.

When you compare all of the functionality and capability that an on-premise solution delivers vs. a Cloud-based one, you typically find that the Cloud system is actually quite complex and extremely capable. The modules in the application can provide great benefit to an organization if they are leveraged properly, and with the right Partner to install them.

My recommendation is to paint the picture of "what-if" with the executive who believes the Cloud should be easier. Demonstrate the various capabilities that the new ERP system can offer and help them understand that it really isn't just the "flick of a switch" and that it indeed can be quite complicated (and expensive).

If they start to imagine all of the business challenges that can be tackled leveraging the Cloud application, at a lower price-point and with no capital expenditure, then the benefits will speak for themselves. Typically business challenges that haven't been addressed in the past are, indeed, complex and thus the resolution will be complex as well. It is at this point that they will come to terms with the fact that complex business problems cannot be resolved with the flick of a switch.

The answer may be in the Cloud, but we, as IT professionals, need to keep our Executives' feet on the ground.

About

Andrew King is a Senior Partner with WebSan Solutions Inc. WebSan Solutions Inc. is a Toronto based Microsoft Dynamics Certified Partner with a focus on achieving significant business benefit for Professional Services, Manufacturing and Distribution ...

29 comments
henryb
henryb

Sorry I wasted my time reading it. MUCH better info in the comments!

Steven
Steven like.author.displayName 1 Like

This must be one of those new computer-generated articles. Nothing here of any value...

scott
scott

I'm sooo sorry for the multiple posts... I wasn't getting any confirmation of my post so I was just clicking, can an admin delete my duplicates?? Sorry.

scott
scott

I'm own a software company and I have a partner I work closely with that is a content provider of music and music video. He keeps suggesting we should move to "the cloud", and I keep explaining to him that when it comes to music and music video, when you want to play that song 5 times, it's getting downloaded 5 actual times because it's being streamed, even worse for music videos. He just nods his head and then the next meeting we have he is charged up again about "the cloud" and I have to explain to him that hard drives are cheap now, bandwidth is fine for a forward and store model and if they want to play the song 5 times, so be it, it was only downloaded once. He just doesn't get it for our market, so finally on the last meeting I said if you really want to use the term "cloud" in your sales pitches to clients, tell them that the system is updated from "the cloud" regularly. He liked that approach. It's always about perception.

scott
scott

I'm own a software company and I have a partner I work closely with that is a content provider of music and music video. He keeps suggesting we should move to "the cloud", and I keep explaining to him that when it comes to music and music video, when you want to play that song 5 times, it's getting downloaded 5 actual times because it's being streamed, even worse for music videos. He just nods his head and then the next meeting we have he is charged up again about "the cloud" and I have to explain to him that hard drives are cheap now, bandwidth is fine for a forward and store model and if they want to play the song 5 times, so be it, it was only downloaded once. He just doesn't get it for our market, so finally on the last meeting I said if you really want to use the term "cloud" in your sales pitches to clients, tell them that the system is updated from "the cloud" regularly. He liked that approach. It's always about perception.

scott
scott

I'm own a software company and I have a partner I work closely with that is a content provider of music and music video. He keeps suggesting we should move to "the cloud", and I keep explaining to him that when it comes to music and music video, when you want to play that song 5 times, it's getting downloaded 5 actual times because it's being streamed, even worse for music videos. He just nods his head and then the next meeting we have he is charged up again about "the cloud" and I have to explain to him that hard drives are cheap now, bandwidth is fine for a forward and store model and if they want to play the song 5 times, so be it, it was only downloaded once. He just doesn't get it for our market, so finally on the last meeting I said if you really want to use the term "cloud" in your sales pitches to clients, tell them that the system is updated from "the cloud" regularly. He liked that approach. It's always about perception.

scott
scott

I'm own a software company and I have a partner I work closely with that is a content provider of music and music video. He keeps suggesting we should move to "the cloud", and I keep explaining to him that when it comes to music and music video, when you want to play that song 5 times, it's getting downloaded 5 actual times because it's being streamed, even worse for music videos. He just nods his head and then the next meeting we have he is charged up again about "the cloud" and I have to explain to him that hard drives are cheap now, bandwidth is fine for a forward and store model and if they want to play the song 5 times, so be it, it was only downloaded once. He just doesn't get it for our market, so finally on the last meeting I said if you really want to use the term "cloud" in your sales pitches to clients, tell them that the system is updated from "the cloud" regularly. He liked that approach. It's always about perception.

scott
scott

I'm own a software company and I have a partner I work closely with that is a content provider of music and music video. He keeps suggesting we should move to "the cloud", and I keep explaining to him that when it comes to music and music video, when you want to play that song 5 times, it's getting downloaded 5 actual times because it's being streamed, even worse for music videos. He just nods his head and then the next meeting we have he is charged up again about "the cloud" and I have to explain to him that hard drives are cheap now, bandwidth is fine for a forward and store model and if they want to play the song 5 times, so be it, it was only downloaded once. He just doesn't get it for our market, so finally on the last meeting I said if you really want to use the term "cloud" in your sales pitches to clients, tell them that the system is updated from "the cloud" regularly. He liked that approach. It's always about perception.

scott
scott

I'm own a software company and I have a partner I work closely with that is a content provider of music and music video. He keeps suggesting we should move to "the cloud", and I keep explaining to him that when it comes to music and music video, when you want to play that song 5 times, it's getting downloaded 5 actual times because it's being streamed, even worse for music videos. He just nods his head and then the next meeting we have he is charged up again about "the cloud" and I have to explain to him that hard drives are cheap now, bandwidth is fine for a forward and store model and if they want to play the song 5 times, so be it, it was only downloaded once. He just doesn't get it for our market, so finally on the last meeting I said if you really want to use the term "cloud" in your sales pitches to clients, tell them that the system is updated from "the cloud" regularly. He liked that approach. It's always about perception.

scott
scott

I'm own a software company and I have a partner I work closely with that is a content provider of music and music video. He keeps suggesting we should move to "the cloud", and I keep explaining to him that when it comes to music and music video, when you want to play that song 5 times, it's getting downloaded 5 actual times because it's being streamed, even worse for music videos. He just nods his head and then the next meeting we have he is charged up again about "the cloud" and I have to explain to him that hard drives are cheap now, bandwidth is fine for a forward and store model and if they want to play the song 5 times, so be it, it was only downloaded once. He just doesn't get it for our market, so finally on the last meeting I said if you really want to use the term "cloud" in your sales pitches to clients, tell them that the system is updated from "the cloud" regularly. He liked that approach. It's always about perception.

scott
scott

I'm the owner of my own software company and I have a partner I work closely with that is a content provider of music and music video. He keeps suggesting we should move to "the cloud", and I keep explaining to him that when it comes to music and music video, when you want to play that song 5 times, it's getting downloaded 5 actual times because it's being streamed, even worse for music videos. He just nods his head and then the next meeting we have he is charged up again about "the cloud" and I have to explain to him that hard drives are cheap now, bandwidth is fine for a forward and store model and if they want to play the song 5 times, so be it, it was only downloaded once. He just doesn't get it for our market, so finally on the last meeting I said if you really want to use the term "cloud" in your sales pitches to clients, tell them that the system is updated from "the cloud" regularly. He liked that approach. It's always about perception.

scott
scott

I'm the owner of my own software company and I have a partner I work closely with that is a content provider of music and music video. He keeps suggesting we should move to "the cloud", and I keep explaining to him that when it comes to music and music video, when you want to play that song 5 times, it's getting downloaded 5 actual times because it's being streamed, even worse for music videos. He just nods his head and then the next meeting we have he is charged up again about "the cloud" and I have to explain to him that hard drives are cheap now, bandwidth is fine for a forward and store model and if they want to play the song 5 times, so be it, it was only downloaded once. He just doesn't get it for our market, so finally on the last meeting I said if you really want to use the term "cloud" in your sales pitches to clients, tell them that the system is updated from "the cloud" regularly. He liked that approach. It's always about perception.

scott
scott like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

I'm the owner of my own software company and I have a partner I work closely with that is a content provider of music and music video. He keeps suggesting we should move to "the cloud", and I keep explaining to him that when it comes to music and music video, when you want to play that song 5 times, it's getting downloaded 5 actual times because it's being streamed, even worse for music videos. He just nods his head and then the next meeting we have he is charged up again about "the cloud" and I have to explain to him that hard drives are cheap now, bandwidth is fine for a forward and store model and if they want to play the song 5 times, so be it, it was only downloaded once. He just doesn't get it for our market, so finally on the last meeting I said if you really want to use the term "cloud" in your sales pitches to clients, tell them that the system is updated from "the cloud" regularly. He liked that approach. It's always about perception.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 5 Like

Who owns the Data Stored in the Cloud? The company who placed and paid for it to be there or the company who owns the [i]Cloud?[/I] More importantly in the event of the Company who owns the [i]Cloud[/I] being Sold or going broke what assurances are there for your Data's Security? Or in the event of your data being compromised what is the companies who owns the [i]Cloud[/I] you are using Exposure? In other words how much will they pay in Damages for the destruction of your company? The Cloud may be fine for the My Face and Space Book Crowds who can not be bothered by unimportant things like Data Security or even their own personal security but Business is a totally different Kettle of Fish and need a lot more thought to be involved in anything remotely like this. Col

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

Of course, I am now using a SaaS solution, and doing work in a cloud-based environment... so I'm a contradictory figure, again. But actually, this enviro I'm working in is like "cloud in reverse"... the data is in the company's own data centre, which also hosts the virtual machines to be used, but the workers are spread across the globe.

reisen55
reisen55 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 5 Like

As an independent consultant, I can state with certainty that nothing NOTHING is stored "IN" the cloud. I recently did some work at the IBM Sterling Forest data center and there it was, racks of servers labeled by each company it was hositing - Ann Taylor, etc. The CLOUD is just using the internet as an immensely long, complex, and not very secure, CABLE from your systems to your data hosted NOT LOCALLY but somewhere else entirely under somebody else's control. Let's add several layers of security threats on that protocol right away. A few days ago, Optimum On Line blew a major circuit in the town where I live and work and wiped out an entire building full of companies for about 4 hours. If ANY were using Cloud storage, their businesses were GONE, ZIPPO. And what it the outage lasts longer??? How long can your company afford to run on IBM Selectric typewriters. For small business, an on-site server still costs very very little as opposed to cloud storage and restoration takes MANY MANY HOURS. Try Mozy for example. 24 hours to restore IF you have your server at least back up after a crash. I had a server crash a month ago, but because I am trained in disaster recovery (something called the World Trade Center), I had this server rebuilt in 3 hours, fully functional and no data loss at all. The cloud? Snake oil salesman, and it's only rationale is to fire data center staff, move those machines out of a room and turn that room into a cafeteria. Secure data? Let somebody in Bangalore worry about it. And have a good relationship with your lawyer when client litigation kicks in too.

mcpeters
mcpeters like.author.displayName 1 Like

One angle not mentioned by the author is the transience of subscription and service rates. The benefit of moving to cloud must outweigh potential reasonable cost increases by a wide enough margin to legitimize an initial (e.g. 3 year) foray into Cloud. Execs also need to be aware that capex will occur if the Cloud doesn't pan out for their organization. In that light, I've found success in helping Execs see Cloud services as a venture that must be proven small scale first and then expanded moving forward.

Katbyan
Katbyan

Complex applications for complex business will need to be adapted, but real implantation time and change management will be reduced. Cloud let you introduce new funcionalities step by step, so your enterprise will adapt to its at it own velocity.

blarman
blarman like.author.displayName 1 Like

Every Cloud-based initiative we've put in place is exactly the opposite: we have to do a massive switchover to the cloud-based app and there is no bit-by-bit about it. Perhaps the worst is that since we no longer own the app, it is a gargantuan task trying to get anything modified and most of the time the vendor simply says no because it would conflict with the ways their other customers use it. I'm not buying the argument that cloud is a simple solution.

AssemblerRookie
AssemblerRookie like.author.displayName 1 Like

Regardless of wether software comes from in-house, off the shelf or the cloud (inter/intra net). There will be significant development, infrastructure cost and maintenance. The cloud is just another way to deliver off the shelf solutions, but you pay for it as a service in it's most basic. The real value of the "cloud" will be in DB hosting and off site back up and storage. Apart from that in most cases cost differences will be minimal.The greatest value of all is when large organisations utilise the technologies to distribute in-house custom solutions to there users. No desktop installs and associated problems with desktop support and training delivered the same way. Sounds like paradise. Cloud vendors currently are simply looking for a contracted regular payment base and greater control over when you upgrade. Who is'nt.

pconaty
pconaty like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

One of the biggest arguments we have in our company against Cloud solutions is the cost. Operating expenditure is managed far tighter than Capital expenditure (as most accountants will understand) and therefore it is very hard to justify a Cloud solution on cost factors which seems to be the approach of most vendors. I still think there is a fair way to go before Cloud solutions replace convential on-premise solutions and cost is one of the biggest determinig factors followed by Security.

neil_lefevre
neil_lefevre like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 4 Like

I read this article twice, but I still don't get the thrust of it. Are you arguing that cloud solutions are better or worse than locally hosted solutions?

gary.duffy
gary.duffy

I couldn't work it out either. I decided that there is a picture missing after the text "Easy: A picture speaks 1,000 words."

gary.duffy
gary.duffy

Same problem as Scott, no feedback from the submit reply click

gary.duffy
gary.duffy

I couldn't work it out either. I decided that there is a picture missing after the text "Easy: A picture speaks 1,000 words."

gary.duffy
gary.duffy

I couldn't work it out either. I decided that there is a picture missing after the text "Easy: A picture speaks 1,000 words."

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

And my training is in language, not in IT. This piece isn't even half-baked, language-wise. Makes me wonder if the even writer himself knows what he's saying, or trying to say. A less than half-baked waffle... which we all know is just a sloppy mess.

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner like.author.displayName 1 Like

You mention: "When you compare all of the functionality and capability that an on-premise solution delivers vs. a Cloud-based one, you typically find that the Cloud system is actually quite complex and extremely capable." I would appreciate learning the source for this statement.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

It does suggest a statistical majority of cases, which would need some serious corroboration. Very unfortunate way to conjure statistical majority, suitable only for propaganda, really.

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