At yesterday's Directions09 conference in Boston, IDC's Chief Analyst, Frank Gens, described the benefits of cloud computing. His remarks included one point that is directly relevant to IT failures.
As you see in the slide, potential cloud buyers are interested in faster, easier software deployments:
This key point gives us a clear indication about market sentiment in relation to IT implementation failures.
THE PROJECT FAILURES ANALYSIS
In a sense, project failures are implementation failures. Once software is up and running at the go-live point, we might say the project is successful. From that standpoint, this IDC research confirms that potential cloud buyers want to escape the stranglehold of long, expensive implementations.
However, we should also recognize that implementation efficiency has little to do with software "fit to purpose." Some organizations complete an implementation on time and within budget, only to discover that users don't adopt the new software. In these cases, the deeper issue of IT / business alignment comes into play.
In other words, software implementations that don't properly address business requirements are equal failures in both the cloud and on-premise worlds. Although cloud computing implementations may be faster and less expensive than corresponding on-premise deployments, wrong-headed software purchases are still...well, wrong.
Just to be clear, I'm not knocking the cloud, but it's not the panacea some vendor hype would have you believe.