Jokes about Cloud Consultants aside (NSFW Youtube video), I think there exists a real and tangible opportunity to help companies with their Cloud Computing evaluation and adoption.
The incumbent IT supplier doesn’t want to talk to clients about Cloud Computing – why would they – it eats their bread-and-butter hardware sales and maintenance revenue. These are the guys that tell you Hosted IT ”won’t work, can’t work, and isn’t suitable for your business”. Ultimately the hardware selling business to SME’s is a dinosaur of a business model – and the IT providers that don’t evolve to providing some form of Cloud-based Utility IT services, will not survive in the medium to long term.
Cloud Providers on the other hand, want you to move everything to their Infrastructure, or Platform. Neither of which in isolation can provide a total client solution, and the Cloud Provider is never going to present the myriad of options a business should be evaluating when thinking about their ‘IT 2.0’ strategy. So people get a ‘one size fits all’ view of Cloud Computing depending on who they talk to.
Enter the Cloud Consultant.
Here is the person that can look at a businesses current IT setup – hardware, applications and users. Understand the business needs, and then recommend the appropriate mix of services. For example – keep the local hardware for file and print; use some SaaS applications to replace the current in-house legacy software (and create a timed, efficient, migration plan for this); utilise Cloud Infrastructure for DR, Backup and move software applications into the Cloud. Thus causing minimal disruption to users, enhancing IT performance, and saving the business money (especially in light of the capital required at ‘upgrade time’). This is the Cloud Consultants raison d’être.
The Cloud Consultant can give a business a phased approach to Cloud Computing – saving them money at the right time for their business, migrating services and applications when it makes the most sense, and changing to the right SaaS applications when the business is ready.
The Cloud Consultant should be worth their weight in gold in the current climate.
So let’s see them. I’m still waiting for the right consultative business to emerge.