Data are informational, and information is comprised of data, and The Cloud represents the same old system of networked computers rebranded as a mysterious new trend.
If it seems trendy & mysterious, bureaucrats pretending to be important management deciderers will become motivated to fixate on the trendy mystery instead of on the business imperative. Vendors that market something old as something new bank on personal insecurity to act as incentive for such disguised bureaucrats to commit their employer to procuring that which becomes a sunk cost before anyone gets a chance to perform an adequate cost-benefit analysis. Many storage room shelves become IT graveyards for what amounts to vaporware.
When bureaucrats insist that other employees recognize their deciderer influence above all other considerations, information & data often become neglected vapor in their own right. Make no mistake: The Cloud will not “take care of it.” Indeed, at its core, The Cloud represents a hopeful revisitation of the 1980s-era “thin client” attempt to swindle computer users into allowing third parties to be caretakers of all their data.
What, then can a competent business manager do to differentiate themselves from those who merely pretend to be business managers while demonstrating decidedly bureaucratic behavior? Information is the key, and that doesn’t mean hoarding information for purposes of appearing indispensable to the enterprise. Business managers are obligated to lead by example, which for information means sharing everything that isn’t an explicit element of organizational confidentiality. Processes for sharing information range from email attachments (risky and unprofessional) to formal collaboration workflows. As always, you’ll get what you pay for so don’t skimp on the investment simply because everyone already has a hard drive and an email/IM client, because that way leads toward insolvency.
Bottom line: far too many businesses neglect information management, to the detriment of their bottom line.