Attenda blames "quick fix" cloud hype for IT project failures

Dark clouds

The marketing of cloud and mobile technologies as quick fix business solutions are to blame for the failure of many IT projects.

This is the view of Ray Blackman, head of consulting and professional services at cloud hosting company Attenda.

A lot of IT projects suffer because ideas for technological improvements are not evaluated correctly before work on them starts.

He said the growing popularity of cloud and mobile services with business leaders is putting increased pressure on the performance of IT departments.

"The companies that are offering cloud and mobile technologies imply that [their deployment] is a very quick process," he told IT Pro.

"Their marketing collateral, for example, will state, pay 28 and you'll be up and running in the cloud in a very short amount of time,' but the process is usually far more involved than that."

This kind of marketing spiel means business leaders often expect a much faster turnaround on cloud and mobile roll outs. This can result in IT departments cutting corners and, ultimately, project failures.

"There is this perception that you don't have to do certain parts of of the preparatory project work anymore to deliver projects successfully, and this is just not true," stressed Blackman.

Therefore, Blackman is calling on IT departments to show the same level of care and attention to the preparation of cloud and mobile projects as they used to do with on-premise deployments.

"A lot of IT projects suffer because ideas for technological improvements are not assessed, prioritised or evaluated correctly before work on them starts," he explained.

"This is usually done so poorly, the IT director inherits inadequate scope and detail [about the state of the business and its IT estate], but they are still expected to build these fast solutions on the back of them."

Meanwhile, Andy Burton, chief executive of the trade body the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF), said the mass of legacy applications, integration and customisation work involved with cloud projects puts a different set of demands on IT departments.

"Vendors and suppliers need to make a concerted effort to clarify and educate the wider market on key terms, definitions and implications to achieve a common understanding of the meaning, opportunities and the risks associated with [the] rapidly growing [cloud market]," he added.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.