Review: Navigating through the Cloud—Rob Livingstone

Adele Whish-Wilson
August 2, 2011

Navigating through the Cloud provides a clear, practical guide to the potential benefits and challenges of adopting Cloud-based technologies in medium to large organisations. While this may be an ‘IT book’, it provides information on the commercial, governance, risk and cost issues of Cloud projects that is invaluable to anyone with a vested interest in successful IT project implementations.

The framework and content of this book is exceptional in the simple, insightful way it clearly articulates the pros and cons of the much-hyped cloud computing model.

This book challenges the key benefits touted by ‘Cloud-huggers’, that moving ‘to the Cloud’ is always a fast way to lower costs and simplify IT deployments. It carefully explores potential risks associated with such deployments, and outlines the questions that should be asked before venturing down the Cloud path.

Livingstone also outlines the phenomenon of the ‘Viral Cloud’ driven by departments implementing their own Cloud licenses outside of normal software selection processes. He sees this as a response by executives that are frustrated by the apparent slowness and complexity of traditional IT project delivery.

In fact, the very nature of Cloud products turns project management on its head. Rather than the traditional process of first defining requirements and specifications, then moving to buy/build and launch, Livingstone identifies the accessibility of the Cloud as a project game-changer. The Cloud’s low cost of entry and often absence of IT departments in the purchase process has proliferated a purchase first, then try, launch and modify later approach.

To assist readers to better understand the potential complexities of Cloud projects, Livingstone has included a comprehensive list of questions for a broad range of stakeholders that may be involved in your project. This checklist alone may save you from potential commercial disaster as it gathers information on key areas from architecture to contracts.

So is author Rob Livingstone a ‘Cloud-hugger’ or ‘tin-hugger’? Well, Navigating through the Cloud does seem to advocate a cautious approach to Cloud implementations, but with 33 years of professional experience in the corporate world, Livingstone’s advice would be well heeded by any project manager facing the option of moving a corporate IT system to the Cloud.

Navigating through the Cloud
By Rob Livingstone
RRP $34.95

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Adele Whish-Wilson
Adele Whish-Wilson is the founder of Momentum Technologies, an award-winning technology solutions company. Since selling the business in 2010, she has combined her background in the private, community and government space with her experience in business development to become an independent consultant, finding ways for organisations to use technology to improve business communications and operations.
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