July 28, 2012

Just a quick Saturday night note while I watch the Olympics and try not to find the results online.

Finally got to read this quick article. We're finding this to true as well. The Cloud is not making technology less complicated. In fact, there are more pieces in motion now than ever before.

Why The Cloud Makes IT Consulting More Important Than Ever Before

OK, back to the Games.


July 26, 2012

Our clients know we're big proponents of the Cloud. Readers of our various outlets, and those who have attended our education sessions also know we're heavily invested in Cloud solutions. The maturing of the technology and delivery infrastructure have made cloud services invaluable tools for small- and mid-sized businesses (SMB's).

That said, our frustrations with the marketing of cloud services is getting a bit out of control. Nirvana has not come to technology. For all the real benefits of cloud services, there are still limitations, bugs, deficiencies, and out-right problems with various services (a lot is dependent on the provider of the service). You wouldn't know it from what's been published by marketing departments around the world. You'd think the answer to all your IT needs lies in the cloud and can be simply setup in a matter of minutes (literally read that on a brochure for a service it took us hours to get configured).

This has been our biggest challenge in helping clients understand the Cloud - what you read is not always what you get. Educating prospects on the reality of cloud services has lengthened our sales cycles significantly. And the most frustrating part is that we're always the bad guys because we're not telling them the same thing as the marketing materials. It's like we're purposefully trying to keep them from having this magic solution (even though we're still presenting the solution but just not with the halo and wings). This would be amusing if it wasn't happening to us.

OK, I'm just venting but it's about a valid point. Like everything, sales and operations see the world differently. As owners we have to see the world through both sets of lenses, but with our primary focus on how any solution we recommend will benefit the IT operation of our client. While it's not our money on the line, it is our reputation, and we value that just as much.

So cast a wary eye on all these marketing promises and be sure to talk to the folks who actually build or support a service. It's a reality check that will save you time, money, and ensure you actually benefit from what you buy.