Fully-Managed Cloud vs. Other Options: Lessons Learned from a Real-Estate Flip

In my last article, I explained what can drive up the costs of deploying Dynamics in the cloud by their category/components. I also had the opportunity to do a deeper dive on the subject in a webcast titled "How Much Does It Cost for Dynamics in the Cloud". Costs are certainly important - however they aren't the only determining factor in a software purchase decision.

Outside of my IT career, my wife and I invest in real estate. I like real estate as an investment vehicle because I can have a direct effect on the outcome by containing the costs. We purchased our latest project about a year ago, a live-in flip that needed almost everything updated.  One key item on our list was the 31 year old air-conditioning system.  Living in Florida, air-conditioning isn't a luxury, it's a necessity.

I shopped around, did my research on various systems, and settled on the one that was best for my organization (by organization, I mean family). The previous AC system was a premium brand. It had served the organization so well for such a long period of time, we decided to purchase the same brand.

We also had narrowed it down to two service providers. One was an all in one shop.They would replace the system and all of the ductwork, and they had in-house teams to do both. We were told the project would require two days and there would be a period of outage for the entire time. The other service provider was a little less expensive, but they only provided the A/C work. They had another firm they recommended for installing the duct work. I would have to manage the two contractors, but I'd save money.

For the cost, I didn't see the value in the single vendor solution and ultimately chose to work with the two vendors. Often times you hear the definition of an accountant as someone who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing. I was certainly this person in this scenario. The end result was a calamity of epic proportions, complete with all the finger pointing, scheduling dilemmas, unplanned days of downtime, and added work that you could imagine for my organization. 

So, what does this personal experience have to do with choosing a cloud services provider? While my climate control system may not be a billion dollar business - or even a few million - the whole scenario isn't much different from a business choosing a cloud solution provider (CSP).

The A/C is a critical system in my business (home).  Without it, we don't have production. (You try heating up the stove in a 95 degree house, or getting your kids to do their homework in those conditions). I placed a high value on choosing the product itself, and underestimated the value of the service elements of installing the air conditioning system. The one stop shop for installation, maintenance, and service in the end could have saved time, effort, and contained my planned costs.   

It's a valuable lesson, and easily translates to a cloud investment decision. Not all air conditioning providers or CSPs are created equal. Want to learn more about how to compare the costs of private cloud platforms versus public cloud and on-premise deployments? Request a personalized total cost of ownership comparison. More information on this deliverable can be found here.