So, you are using the cloud and all is going well. New upgrades to the software appear at regular intervals providing new functionality… all is going well. But what happens if something goes wrong? Twitter has just had such a problem, and it took down the service for many users. Who cares… it’s just Twitter?!?!? Well, quite a few companies have Twitter as a key part of their communication strategy these days, so when it’s down it does make a difference. However, the real issue here is the risk around upgrading cloud applications.
Obviously, the vendor doesn’t plan to make a mistake – but what if they do? What if it was your CRM system, or your ERP solution? In this particular instance, there were missing, late and/or duplicate entries… what would happen if this were your ERP system – could it handle the problems and more importantly would you know about it before the auditors!
Part of any risk analysis for the business needs to include the risks associated with 3rd party suppliers – and IT and data handlers are no exception. Service Level Agreements need to reflect these possibilities and potentially have clauses for reverting (quickly) to earlier versions, rather than bug-fixing on-the-fly to resolve issues. Now is the time to take a look at the contracts you have – and ask your supplier the questions… “What if an upgrade goes wrong?”