Chasing Clouds in Australia with Rob Livingstone

Rob Livingstone spent the past 10 years as the CIO of Ricoh in Australia, and just left his CIO position to focus on launching a new consultancy focusing primarily on cloud computing.  Rob also has a new blog on CIO Magazine – The Accidental CIO.

I had the opportunity to briefly exchange a few insights with Rob regarding cloud computing and his new consultancy.

While at Ricoh, Rob adopted virtualization well in advance of Gartner’s hype curve and told me that “it works like a treat, and is very, very cost effective.”  Rob went on to explain that there are very strong benefits to cloud computing, but he finds that there are many challenges that businesses encounter along the way:

Many businesses are really struggling with the Cloud, and there are some pretty large companies that have launched into a SaaS implementation only to find after a year that the costs are horrendous, and have pulled the pin or seriously cut back the scope. Some have gone ahead and derived benefits.

Rob adds that “there’s a lot of hype about this and much misinformation” and he hopes that his consultancy can guide businesses on how to best navigate their ventures into the cloud.
Where are most of the challenges in cloud computing?  Rob says:

The ‘Cloud’ discussions are louder OUTSIDE of the IT space, and trying to discuss Cloud from WITHIN the IT Community is like banging on your own jailhouse walls, where the real action is outside, between LOB and the SaaS vendors…this is where businesses are going to run into problems, whether they be viral runaway SaaS projects, data integrity or CMS Governance issues

I’ll be following Rob’s posts in the future and you may want to do so as well.  You can follow Rob at the following sites:

The Accidental CIO (CIO Magazine Blog) (
RLA (Rob Livingstone Advisory)  (

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