back to article Lawyer up on your way into the cloud

IT leaders have stressed the need for firms to carry out rigorous due diligence on cloud providers, warning that dishonest sales tactics, hidden extra costs, latency and governance issues could ruin key projects. Speaking at the 3rd MIG Cloud Computing Executive Roundtable in Hong Kong last week, Wayne Moy, IT director for …

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Anonymous Coward

Would you give your house keys to a stranger?

If you put you money in the hands of another person and ask them to look after it there would have to be an enormous amount of trust between you. 'Here's my life savings mate keep an eye on it will you as he makes his way to the pub. Never happen would it!'

With the Cloud, you give stuff to an organisation you've never met, and yet you are trusting them with something extremely precious.

Six months down the line they unilaterally change the small print and demand more money, you can't negotiate it so you are either cut off or you pay up.

Worse still, they go bust or even worse than that, the USA claims they support pirated sites, close it down and confiscate the servers for evidence.

You'd never give your house keys, car keys, money, shares, wife, girlfriend or children to someone you have never met before or who you bump into in the street and say look after this, would you?

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Something that is not entirely necessary, that is promoted as a money saving measure, that does not always live up to the hype, that can make IT staff redundant and for what..

The inconvenience of saving a few quid?

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Unhappy

Re: Would you give your house keys to a stranger?

"With the Cloud, you give stuff to an organisation you've never met, and yet you are trusting them with something extremely precious."

A lot of idiots^H^H^H people in directorial positions seem to believe that legal contracts are magic beans that will someone prevent data or connection issues when in actual fact they're just a bit of paper that lets you get a refund later on either direct or via the courts (except its called compensation).

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Facepalm

worrying

That senior management and especially directors are following the herd and buying into "cloud computing".

If they are serious about saving money on hardware and duplication, they could have gone the "thin client" route years ago but few understood it!

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Holmes

Gee golly gee

So the moral of the story is that moving services to the cloud is an important project.

Wow, who'd a thunk it ?

The ironic thing is that here we have an international, world-class "communications" company that got blinded by the marketing spiel of cloud vendors only to find that the road to the cloud was not actually filled with grassy fields and daisies.

Somehow, that makes me smile.

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Or be sensible...

Ignore all this cloud crap and sit there laughing in the sun as data breaches and network failures happen all around you? Or is that too sensible?

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Moral of the story

Whenever someone says ‘we can do all of these things’ get it in writing. With a clause detailing what happens if (when) it turns out they can't do any of those things. If you absolutely must sign away key parts of your infrastructure, take a Devil's Advocate approach to the contract - assume the other party's intent is the utter ruination of your business while still sticking to the letter of the agreement, then squeeze the terms until that is not an option.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Moral of the story

Salesmen will tell you their product shits rainbows if it will close the deal but if it's not actually in the contractual T&Cs you're not getting it.

Once you sign, those sales guys are onto the next target and you're left with delivery teams that deliver to the contract... not what Joe salesman told you over beers and strippers what he could do for you.

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Mushroom

Lawyer up?

Alternatively - don't bother and save the fees - if you're buying someting cos it says cloud on the packaging then you ain't going to listen to anyone's advice - you'll just sit there burbling "shiny - woot" and drooling down your tie. Either way - your pissing your money down the drain.

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Re: Lawyer up?

You're stuck with the fees either way, because if you ain't using them on your internal work, you run similar legal dangers. The cloud can be good or bad. Like everything else you have to evaluate for your particular needs. There's stuff I'd be willing to keep in the cloud, there's others I'm not. Granted, my "not" is closer to what you describe than the "not" for the talking heads in the article.

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Childcatcher

All true but I'm upvoting the article

Subject says it. This gets a big +1 for puncturing the hype and highlighting the reality. To put it in tabloid terms, if it saves just one CIO from making a tragic mistake ....

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Stop

I'm with Bill 36 on this one.

(see above).

Just the number of "me too" cloud start-ups is enough to worry me! It's clear (at least to me) that this is a bubble. What happens when that bubble bursts, and these "me too" startups (who are are not profitable and rely solely on captial injection from investors) go bust? What happens to your companies' data? What happens to the 15 years of archived email?

The same thing happened in the early noughties with Thin Client computing? It failed for essentially four reasons:

* The technology wasn't actually as good as it was claimed to be;

* It actually turned out to be more expensive;

* Concerns over security of corporate data, either from random (damaging) attacks by idiots (resulting in loss of data), denial of service (down-time), or industrial espionage;

* One you had selected a vendor, you were pretty much locked in, in the sense that it was just to painful to move to another vendor. They had you by the balls.

Of course, it didn't live up to the hype, and all those pointy-haired salesmen ended up on the dole, and legions of office workers would turn up for work in the morning, boot their thin client, and instead of their desktop, they would get "Cannot connect to Citrix Server".

I fear this cloud thing may indeed go the same way for the reasons cited above. I do think the technology is better than the thin client days, but there are still technology issues, as cited in the article. I think the remaining three points cited above are just as relevant now as they were back in 2000.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'm with Bill 36 on this one.

1) The technology is NEVER as good as the salesman says it is.

2) The technology always costs more than the salesman says it will.

3) Any time you gloss over problem with security of corporate data you are begging for trouble.

4) With almost any selected vendor, once you've bought in, it is painful to move.

We've just finished a cloud move where I work in support. I'm not overly happy with it, but it meets most of the critical goals. If I'd been stuck between the rock and hard spot the decision makers were, I'd probably have made the same choice. It's for mail and calendar service. Frankly the reason they were stuck moving to the cloud was they didn't keep up on their vendor contracts for the implemented internal solutions, didn't keep pace with changing discovery laws, and never really thought through their backup and storage solutions for same. After the failure of two previous planned upgrades, their backs were up against the wall the only way to get those items at a price point they could afford was the cloud.

The problem I see with most of the cloud-pumping articles is that they gloss over these issues and make excuses for CIOs to do likewise. But any time you gloss over these issues you are buying trouble regardless of where the data actually lives. Protecting data is hard. If any damn fool could do it, none of us would make the money we do.

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WTF?

Another idiot MBA is blinded by technobabble

“"We calculated that return on investment would be great and we could get large savings from putting our email in the cloud, but when we moved there were lots of problems,” he cautioned."

Unfortunately these are the sort of technologically pig ignorant idiots who become IT directors these days. Anyone with a clue would have asked the pertinent questions first and done a trial run. Clearly this muppet just fell for the sales patter hook and line.

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Re: Another idiot MBA is blinded by technobabble

Sorry, I've seen technically competent IT directors make the same sorts of choices. Usually because they didn't dig deep enough.

You also need to keep in mind that while you may regard what he said as a lot of techno-babble bullshit, those are real issues that IT Directors need to address for companies. An IT Director who can't successfully navigate those waters is as useless as a help desk tech who can't reset a password for a user.

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WTF?

Re: Another idiot MBA is blinded by technobabble

"Sorry, I've seen technically competent IT directors make the same sorts of choices."

Then they're not competent enough. Simple. If the entire companies business relies on the choices you make then you damned well better make sure you DO make the right choice.

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Anonymous Coward

Outsourcing Anyone ?

You know, this sounds remarkably like outsourcing IT, doesn't it ?

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Flame

Oh dear, there must be some idiots out there

I read this little pasage:

"A big cultural change has to happen especially among your developer community,” argued Dev

Kohol, executive director of enterprise infrastructure at Morgan Stanley.

“They don’t understand when you move to a service-oriented delivery model you become more

restricted. You can’t just call up the local sys admin or database guy and ask them to add this or

that feature.”

The result of reading was at first that Morgan Stanley has a complete idiot for director of enterprise infrastructure. Second thoughts suggested that I had been too hard on Morgan Stanley, and there was a careful and deliberate running together of two originally dseparated and clearly unrelated sentences (a very common journalistic strategem, which I'm sure I've seen nearly as often in El Reg as in The Guradian). My third thought was that the first thought was probably right after all, it's quite likely that Morgean Stanley has a director of enterprise infrastructure who is stupid enough to believe that it's usually developers, not users, who ask for new features - they'll be a typical financial services firm whose management think that way, despite all the evedence to the contrary that's right under their noses.

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