Deployment of cloud computing services in businesses and organizations has almost become a precondition for modern development. Cloud computing is currently one of the most popular topics among CIOs and CTOs worldwide. In US majority of organizations has already adopted the cloud while the others still question such a move. Though cloud solutions are often found to be very efficient business solutions, certain amount of fear and doubt about its deployment still exists. The doubts are primarily related to the security of data and the overall impact cloud deployment may have on company’s business.
To make sure that moving to the cloud is a good decision, organizations should consider the following questions:
1. How can cloud help my business?
Views on benefits and risks of deploying cloud services differ from organization to organization. Cloud is predominantly seen as a practical solution for boosting work efficiency but many oppose to adopting it because of the risks attached to such a system. The truth is that cloud based software doesn’t necessarily have to be suitable to every setting. If you already have an effective IT infrastructure or if you operate with a really limited number of workers than cloud computing might not be appropriate solution for your business. Here you should consider deploying hybrid cloud or similar solution that would allow you to keep a part of your existing infrastructure while deploying only the resources you need.
2. Are the long-term cost savings worth initial investment?
This question is particularly important for SMEs as their financial resources are often quite limited. Cloud computing solutions are found to cut overall IT costs but their deployment can often require a reasonable initial budget. The smartest thing you can do is to put all the numbers on a paper and see if the final result works for you. Bear in mind that there are many cloud providers out there, so make sure to inquire about what each of them can do for you.
3. What level of safety do my data need?
Data security has always been a major disadvantage attached to cloud computing. Many people see cloud computing as letting somebody else have control over your data. It is true that the data is safest in a company’s own datacenter but as this is not always possible managers should definitively take cloud as an option. Security expectations and requirements differ among companies but cloud services do have certificates of meeting security standards, so they shouldn’t be regarded as completely insecure. After all, online backup is often seen as a major advantage of cloud services because it represents a great disaster plan. Such advantages shouldn’t be overlooked.
4. What should my SLA look like?
After you decided upon the requirements of your business, make sure that your SLA (Service Level Agreement) is tailored to suit them perfectly. SLA should be written in clear language, explicitly defining all the objectives and conditions of service usage and provision. Also, make sure to develop a backup plan in case your provider runs out of business. This point is particularly important because it is quite common for a company to go bankrupt or to be bought by another company that might change their policies. Cloud market develops rapidly and though the new companies appear to stand firmly on the ground the future can never be 100% certain.
Clearly, depending on the nature of your business you will find certain issues more important than the others. Before adopting the cloud every organization should understand all the positive and negative sides related to it and only when you are completely sure about each of these questions you should make the move.
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- #CloudFail: Six pitfalls to avoid with enterprise cloud deployment (gigaom.com)
- Can Cloud Computing Save Money? (blogs.sap.com)