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Cloud computing - the potential and the pitfalls

Media release 

PA Consulting Group and The National Computing Centre (NCC) launch new Guidelines 
12th October 2011 

PA Consulting Group and The NCC have launched a new set of guidelines to help organisations identify both the potential and the pitfalls of cloud computing. The guidelines in the report show organisations how to identify where cloud services might fit for them, and how to deploy them in a way that meets their business, security and information governance requirements.

Alastair McAulay, IT expert, PA Consulting Group, says: “Cloud services are capable of delivering a long list of significant benefits. These include cost savings; scalability; any time, anywhere, any device availability; and resilience. But for any organisation, other than a start-up with a completely greenfield requirement, moving to the cloud also requires careful planning, analysis and a clear business case. Businesses cannot just muddle through and hope for the best.”

Over the past year cloud computing services have moved from the limited pilot stage to larger scale implementation. New start-ups have been eager adopters, embracing the opportunity to secure off-the-peg services that rival those of their larger competitors but avoid the need to build costly IT infrastructures. Small businesses can use the cloud to access a better service, such as data protection, than they could provide themselves. However, established IT departments tend to see the cloud as threatening their role as gatekeeper to IT services and providing them with a raft of technical headaches.

Steve Fox, NCC managing director, commented: “As organisations seek to rationalise and optimise their IT investment, they currently view cloud computing, server virtualisation, mobile email and storage area networks as the most important technologies for the next two years – we are now seeing investment in a range of complementary technologies, such as VDI, that together can offer an effective and robust solution to creating a more flexible business.”

The report highlights the particular challenges for large organisations in integrating the cloud with established infrastructures and IT departments, especially if the solution is a direct replacement for an existing self-provided service. The report then goes on to outline how these integration challenges can be overcome by:

  • Organisations thinking differently, and understanding this is not business as usual but business in an entirely new way and traditional implementation models will not work.
  • Using an approach that pays attention to ensuring that implementation is properly controlled, yet which also allows quick-win projects to be fast tracked whilst all the time ensuring that tangible benefits are delivered to the business.

The NCC Guidelines 'Cloud Computing – Overcoming the Key Inhibitors', authored by PA cloud expert Alastair McAulay, clearly articulates the steps organisations need to take to overcome the inhibitors. A copy of the Guidelines is available from PA Consulting at

Notes to the editor

About PA Consulting Group

PA Consulting Group is a leading management and IT consulting and technology firm. Independent and employee owned, we operate globally in more than 30 countries and transform the performance of major organisations in both the private and public sectors.

From initial idea generation and strategy development through to detailed implementation, we deliver significant and tangible results. We have outstanding technology development capability; a unique breadth of skills from strategy to performance improvement, from HR to IT; and strong expertise in communications, media and entertainment, defence, energy, financial services, government and public services, healthcare, manufacturing, transportation and logistics.

For further information, please contact: Laura Hamblin on +44 (0)207 333 6191 or email

About The National Computing Centre

The National Computing Centre (NCC) helps IT decision makers deliver effective solutions to business problems by bringing together users, experts and vendors to share experiences and develop best practices.

Press enquiries:

Michael Dean
The National Computing Centre
Tel: +44 (0)161 605 0855



For more information about The National Computing Centre and our services, please contact us at the details below:

Telephone: +44 (0)870 908 8767
Fax: +44 (0)870 134 0931

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