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?
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.
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 companies.