As a consulting & implementation partner we’ve been thinking through the impact of the cloud – how consulting services will be perceived in the cloud environment. If you sign up to a utility type model then where are the traditional consulting services factored in? I think there are a number of possibilities. Potentially there will be more pressure on clients to accept more ‘out of the box’ functionality – with less consulting services. Potentially, because the client is no longer looking at a large outlay on hardware and software licensing upfront, some projects may get started more easily. Potentially there will be far greater opportunities to deliver truly web enabled business solutions, rather than solutions which are limited to the internal organisation itself.
The cloud – or business applications hosted and managed in the cloud – raises all sorts of questions for traditional IT organisations. Seems to me there is already a move towards decentralisation – in the area of collaboration solutions. Employees want to use social networking type solutions – and have interchange between corporate and non corporate type networks. Would seem all businesses will need IT professionals with the skills and knowledge to know what is possible – to advise/ support the business in entering into different contractual arrangements. However the traditional control model may no longer apply.