Thinking of as your key to the Cloud Kingdom?
By Alok Misra and Ian Gotts (Smart Questions), £16.99

Cloud computing continues to dominate discussion and clog email boxes with survey results from vendors keen to get CIOs to don the Emperor’s Latest Clothes. However, software as a service and in particular have challenged and changed the use of in customer relationship management (CRM) software and sales team management applications.

Thinking of as your key to the Cloud Kingdom? is the latest title from Smart Questions, a series which offers an innovative way of discussing topics like SaaS applications within the enterprise. Although it takes four chapters to get to the smart questions themselves, the rest of the book is a way of breaking down cloud hype to tackle the issue of whether cloud computing is worth considering for relevant areas of the organisation, or as the book calls it ‘Questions for suits and questions for jeans’.

From here on in the book is a grid of a questions and then why this matters. As in life, each question leads to another question, for example: “Can you increase the barriers to entry for potential competitors? Why this matters: If the application you want to deliver has little technical or business complexity, then this applies to your competitors as well as you. Can you create patents that lock out or make it difficult for your competitors or new entrants to follow?”

The format makes the book a dictionary of reference into the myriad business and technology issues that surround any implementation. Whereas the IT world is full of evangelists telling us that cloud must be a part of our greater IT strategies, this book breaks everything down into case-by case-scenarios.

Authors Alok Misra and Ian Gotts are essentially vendors and their respective firms do deliver systems via the cloud, but the duo must be praised for honing in on business issues and grasping the format of the Smart Questions books.

One criticism I have is I felt the case studies could have been stronger. Gotts is well known to this title and to the overall business process management community and I feel he could have drawn on some examples that would really resonate with CIOs of major corporations.