This is the second of four articles profiling potential pitfalls with delivering professional services from the cloud. The first of the articles can be found here.
In this second of four articles discussing potential pitfalls of implementing a cloud service, we will review how discipline can collapse, and more importantly, how to prevent it from doing so.
One might assume that with the implementation of a cloud-based professional services (PS) solution that there is no manual work required. In a sense that is “correct” with respect to computer hardware, but in order to optimize results, special care should be given to the procedures that must be in place to accompany any new PS solution. NetSuite can run all of your key back-office operations and financial business processes with a single, comprehensive business management application. The key remains to stay one step ahead of the game. Remember, you are still providing a service even though the cloud carries the load.
When delivering PS from the cloud, the ability to “hide” issues from the client can have the effect of reducing the rigor that drives quality and completeness. Most organizations continue to have SDLC (system development life cycle) methods and tools in place, but there is no greater accountability than having to show a client your software incident report on a daily basis.
The need for project management doesn’t go away – in fact, it needs to get more disciplined. Some professional service organizations (PSOs) in the cloud may have many more and smaller projects. Keeping tabs on the status, progress, and budget will be important to PSO profitability and success with the client. Project Management Offices (PMOs) will become an increasingly strategic tool for the PSO lead looking for a way to stay on top of everything occurring in the portfolio – and creating an objective 3rd party that can identify risks / issues / concerns – before the client finds them!
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Source material for this article is from the whitepaper: “4 Keys to Success in Delivering Professional Services from the Cloud” by Mark E. Sloan