Introducing the “Evaluating Cloud Solutions” Series

by Richard George


Welcome to our newest blog and to the rarefied air of cloud technology. This an overview of a series about systems, applications, and more. Technology that is run in the Cloud instead of at your location (on premise). We’ll not limit the discussion to a single application domain like Human Capital Management (HCM), Financials, or Supply Chain. Instead, we’ll discuss all of these and others, including Business Intelligence, Data Warehouses with Analytics, and Customer Relations systems and cover what systems can do in the Cloud, what the value is, and what we’ve learned through experience.

Our goal is to share timely and objective information about using technology you may currently run on premise in the Cloud as well as information about technology running in the cloud that isn’t available to run on premise.

We’ll talk about what the Cloud is and what it isn’t.  We have several authors lined up to contribute their best, with a variety of discussions including how different workforce generations are interacting with the Cloud.

It is not our intent to tell you if or when you should move to the Cloud or what applications you should move, because these are complex decisions requiring an assessment of your current state, identifying your requirements, vision, and objectives for the future, and comparing these to what is offered in the Cloud.  How does cloud functionality compare: the costs, the risks, and the benefits? Obviously more than just an afternoon of work.

Some clients do this deep analysis themselves, others use a third party.  I strongly suggest that this subject be thoroughly evaluated/vetted to understand the timeline, costs, and benefits of moving to the cloud. This is a very worthwhile study that will provide you with direction for the next few years.  Please note that I’m not suggesting that everyone will be moving to the Cloud as I have clients that are upgrading their on premise systems and I have others that are moving their systems to the Cloud. What these clients are doing is right for them, as their decision comports with the requirements they have developed through analysis.  As a last point here, I think that your decision(s) should depend on satisfying requirements first, with cost following.  I’ll explain my reasoning on that point in a later blog entry.

Part of my pre-work in this blog series is to share a set of topics that we (the authors) think will be really interesting to you.   A few are listed below, and we do have more.  Which ones are most interesting to you? Did we miss something obvious?  To encourage input, we’ll buy you a cup of coffee/tea at Starbucks ($5 gift card) for the best 10 suggestions received by Friday 9/26.

  • 5 W’s (Who, What, When, Where and Why) of the Cloud
  • On premise vs. the Cloud
  • Upgrade vs. SaaS
  • TCO / ROI
  • What should you expect from an application in the Cloud
  • Tailoring or a custom fit
  • Multi-tenancy or Single-tenancy
  • Security concerns
  • Losing control of your data
  • Staying current, the cost
  • What most interests you?

If you’re interested in learning about the Cloud, then subscribe to this blog as we explore its solutions and answer your questions. The next installment will talk about what the cloud is from a non-technical perspective.  Our promise to you is to keep the blogs short and to the point while providing links to more detailed information if you’re interested in a deeper dive. We will do our best to answer any questions (or find an expert who can).  Just shoot us a note ( with your comments, questions or disagreements.  We welcome all input.


2 replies
  1. Mike Hughes
    Mike Hughes says:

    Hi Sierra-Cedar,

    Glad to see you are doing this as it is a topmost topic in the minds of many – certainly the clients I am working with – as he cloud offers profound opportunities for innovation..

    One topic I hope you will explore deeply is the detailed implications of Canadian Privacy Legislation (both Federal and Provincial) as it applies to Cloud decisions for government, quasi government, publicly traded and private companies. I find that there are many fears and myths held as truths, but no real single source of the truth for what can and can’t be done, and what the Cloud Marketplace is doing about it in response. Please be sure to include the “reach implications” of things like the Patriot Act and other foreign legislation on Canadian entities. I hope you will explore emerging strategies like tokenization for Personally Identifiable Information, and the effect of such strategies on the usefulness of applications – search functionality for example appears to be severely compromised in many tokenized applications.

    I hope this conversation will include privacy types who right our legislation and those in the U.S. I read somewhere recently that the negative financial effects of the Patriot Act on U.S. IT companies is now estimated to be in the $trillions. Hopefully we can influence governments with this discussion to not accidentally stifle innovation.

    I look forward to the conversation.

  2. Craig McGrath
    Craig McGrath says:


    I would like to see robust coverage of the Security aspect.
    There are many well documented cases of breaches into the Cloud.

    Has a Risk Assessment been completed? What safeguards are now / will be implemented?

    Because we deal with valuable cooperate information covering a multitude of industries; I would like to emphasize we need to be cognizant that Sierra-Cedar is a unique target.

    Thank you for your time


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