The Coming Cloud Consulting Conflict

Michael Vizard

Most of the consultants working with customers on cloud computing issues today are focused on tactical IT issues involving infrastructure.

But the real value of cloud computing is going to be determined by how much it enables new business opportunities for customers. Many customers previously did not have the capital available to fund the IT infrastructure that might have been required for an ambitious new business project. Cloud computing makes funding such projects more affordable because, in the event they fail, the company has not wasted millions of dollars acquiring IT infrastructure.

The rise of cloud computing is creating a requirement for a new breed of consultants, says Cloud Technology Partners' (CloudTP) CEO Chris Greendale. This coming Monday marks the official launch of CloudTP, a small consulting company focused exclusively on cloud computing.

Greendale says that CloudTP is not necessarily looking to compete head-on with existing consulting powerhouses. In fact, he expects to work cooperatively with many of them. The issue they have, says Greendale, is that those consulting companies are steeped in approaches to legacy IT issues that are in most cases no longer relevant in a new era of cloud computing.

The degree to which that statement is true will, of course, vary widely by consulting company. The one that is for certain is that most companies today are not thinking in terms of how cloud computing might change their business strategy. And the companies that figure that out first will ultimately wind up being the real beneficiaries of a new approach to enterprise IT that has implications that go well beyond the location of a data center.

The question is when will the consultants who focus on business, rather than just technology, catch up with that concept?

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Jan 29, 2011 2:44 PM Brian Butte Brian Butte  says:

We're already there!  At PwC we have been rebuilding our advisory capabilities over the past several years, and one of our home runs is our approach to Cloud Computing.  Our approach focuses on not just the business value, but puts revenue generation and new business model opportunities front and center.  From accounting, audit and finance to tax and technology we've have a holistic view few if any can match.  IT cost reduction is great because it provides the easy to define ROI necessary for getting the investment dollars to implement Cloud.  However those who have or are focused on IT cost reduction are missing the much larger opportunities represented by the tremendous collaboration model in Cloud Computing.  Our approach hasn't yet grabbed headlines but clients who have begun to think about Cloud as more are finding us a tremendous resource.

Welcome to CloudTP!  There's enough work for everyone.  Our collective focus needs to be on educating and helping clients leverage Cloud and side-step the perils of adopting Cloud at any price.


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