Date: September 9, 2010

Author: JT

Tags: , , , , , ,

Comments Off on Don’t Forget the USERS!

Don’t Forget the USERS!

The other day I happened across a discussion asking the question: “What are the most important things to consider before moving…to a cloud-based solution?”

Darned good question.  The opening—very valid—questions included things like:

  1. TCO (total cost of ownership);
  2. Data security;
  3. SLA (service level agreements);
  4. ROI (Return on Investment);
  5. Data backups, Disaster Recovery, & Business Continuity Planning (BCP)

image These are very typical things to find in Requests For Information (RFI), Request for Proposal (RFP).  They are very representative of what (CxO)  executive management will want to know—particularly before signing off on expensive, far-reaching, solutions.

But!  Do not forget the Users!

Put yourself in their shoes, or better yet, get users’ input directly. Perhaps the #1 question is, “Will they use it?

I have seen more than one solution deployment fail and turn into a huge waste of capital, simply because no one would use it! Sometimes its as simple as the user interface is appalling. More often, it is because the new solution does not map well against their day-to-day processes.

Another component to consider is, “Who will own it?” Restated, Who will own the relationship with the vendor? Who will bear day-to-day responsibility for execution? Will these lay with ‘someone in IT’, with the CIO or another exec, or…? All too often an exec or other manager has a great idea and makes an assumption that ‘IT’ will take care of it. Quite often, that’s a poor assumption that leads to additional heartache downstream.

So, perhaps 6. should be, Have all the stakeholders been identified and provided(ing) input?

What other key items have you seen neglected in the race to adopt something new?

(photo credit: Sigurd Decroos)

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