@Steven_Cleaver do you feel that these possible negatives outweigh the positives a cloud system brings to customers? Customers being staff, parents, students?
I respect what you are saying, some points you make are very valid. Some are not an issue with all cloud based systems. Some suppliers of web based systems allow you to host yourself, so you retain control over the hardware. Every supplier prices on some form of annual maintenance, per pupil is one way. Most providers of web systems, particularly hosted, schedule upgrade times with the concent of their customers, and also target typical quiet times of the year.
Internet going down: Yes a problem. If your internet goes down, an internal system will work, but no access to the rest of the world still, and your externally working users (parents, students) cannot access your system. On the cloud, at least you have the options for 3G connectivity (depending on the MIS obviously ;)) We live in dark days where frequent internet outages still occur... we do live in 2012 right?
Uses up bandwidth: Again depends on the MIS. If it is truely cloud, information exchange should be minimul, even reporting or even creating the timetable. It should be done at the server end, presenting only the required infomation to the user, like most good optimised websites these days.
Obviously I am talking about MIS systems I know well ;) I cannot speak for all.
Interesting discussion points though :)