The answer to this is no, but, before I get a load of emails from irate ‘cloud lovers’ let me explain why.
There is absolutely no doubt that the trend in computing appears to be towards the cloud, after all you don’t have to hold a degree in computer science to work out why (price, flexibility, scalability etc), however, I would just like to highlight the requirements of a couple of clients that would suggest that the answer is not always as simple as ‘just stick it in the cloud’.
We’ll call them client A (a professional services business) and Client B (a distributor of optical equipment to the trade, with a warehouse that contains traceable stock).
Both clients were recently considering a cloud based option (in fact they were both almost adamant that this was their preferred route), however upon detailing the differences between the operational requirements of the businesses, it was obvious that for Client B there were far more hurdles to overcome.
It was easy for Client A to introduce a system so that their consultants could submit a daily timesheet and expense claim (not particularly process heavy) and gain the benefits they were seeking. Client B’s requirements however, given that they had barcode scanners dotted around the warehouse for scanning each unique item, meant that the speed and data transfer rates were going to make things far more challenging. This is not to say that it was impossible for them to work around but once explained in detail the potential speed drawbacks, the initial enthusiasm for a cloud offering (particularly within the Operational teams) drained away quite quickly.
To be clear I am a big fan of cloud based computing and love the concept - but in the same breath - if you ask a plumber to fix a pipe you would assume he’d use the right tool for the job. The analogy for Client A and Client B – there’s nothing worse than taking a shower when the water is restricted to just a dribble !!