re: Cloud's Thorniest Question: Does It Pay Off?
One of the things that you run into when using cloud-based services to replace services that usually reside within the "standard" IT infrastructure supporting business operations is a learning curve and the support factor, especially when going to managed services.
Time was, when there was a problem, you called the IT department and they resolved the issue. Now IT departments are called upon to be "ticket routers" when it comes to dealing with problems that users are having with managed cloud-based solutions. That increases the overall MTTR (Mean Time To Resolution) of those cases.
Of course there are advantages - with a hosted e-mail solution, for example, where you no longer have to pay for licensing for your backup products, hardware, storage, etc. For those looking into making the move, you really need to consider all of the costs involved before making a decision to move the cloud based solely on economic value.