Saturday, 21 April 2012

Cloud Washing…does it REALLY matter

Look at it from another perspective… The customers’ perspective. Does cloud washing really matter then?

I’m working at a Nordic IT outsourcing provider and have together with them delivered IT as a Service since 1997 (I'm now more on my own: I’m personally very into cloud services and how and why companies should adopt it. I’m also very into how IT service providers (cloud or “classics”) should think to give customers value and increase efficiency to become more productive. Therefor I’m not only talking cloud.

When I, with the option of three different subjects, asked what readers wanted to read as my next post they all (3…hm…well) pointed at Cloud Washing with the comment that it is important that people become aware of washed cloud services. The post was published in the beginning of this week on Know Your Cloud as Cloud Washing – Don’t End Up Washing Your IT with False Clouds. Though; from the beginning my intention was to talk about whether the washing of a service to a “cloud service” really matters as long as it kills customer pains.

As the customer you always have to read term and agreements, in the end it’s your responsibility to understand what you’re buying. If you don’t understand it at all; don’t buy it. If you think you understand; talk to the provider or ask some professional to advice you. If you understand it; buy it if it fulfills your needs. If someone mistakenly (?) added a Cloud to the service but defines the service well (as a traditional IT service (as a “dirty cloud” service)) you might live with it if you are aware of it. If this someone violates terms it’s a contractual breach and you should be able to walk away…maybe even with a penalty. If you have problems to get out you might take stronger actions…but that’s not funny at all, it’s better to consult a pro trusted advisor if you have any concerns.

But never the less; to me the importance lays in the hand of IT providers to explain business models, their IT offer in an easy way, how it works and how and why it should be adopted.  We have to take the responsibility to explain well and not hustle. We have to talk the same language as the customer. And this concerns everyone undependably if you’re a Cloud SP (Service Provider), SaaS SP, MSP, on premise SP or on site consultant. The IT business has to wake up! Stop talking to each other – talk with the customer.

Don’t misunderstand me; cloud washing isn’t good for anyone. And the important thing; don’t call it cloud if it’s not able to be defined as cloud. Otherwise; hustle. And why should you? Be proud of the service. It's probably great even without "a cloud". But, and here’s my key point, from the customers’ perspective; if you understand what you are buying, know how to handle it and it fulfills your needs, kill pains, brings value, increases efficiency to make you more productive it really doesn't matter if the service faulty is named cloud.

So, does Cloud Washing REALLY matter?

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