Cloud service providers can make compelling and simple sales pitches in terms of cost of individual services-$100 per user per year sounds pretty good. But "hidden" expenses can alter a company's outlook. Costs related to people, processes, and architecture associated with both the transition and the operations require analysis and planning before signing up for a business case based on a move to the cloud. CIOs and other IT professionals are already well acquainted with such expenses, but the challenge will lie in uncovering them in the relatively unfamiliar cloud model and determining accountability for each.
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Developing a business case for any IT investment is a complicated exercise. But building a business case for SharePoint poses specific challenges because much of its ROI is intangible: SharePoint deployments can lead to process improvements, but it's not always easy to quantify the dollar value of those process improvements.