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Cloud Computing Actions to Take and to Avoid

When planning to switch over parts of your business to cloud computing, there are several things that you need to take into consideration. Reviewing what to do and what not to do with cloud computing can help you implement the most effective and efficient plan for your company.

  • Don’t be reactive.

    Although it's tempting to simply throw out the data center and put all computing into a public cloud, this isn't the most cost effective approach. You need to make sure that all the possible impacts have been considered before you spring into action. Take the time to decide which capabilities you should put into the cloud and in what order.

  • Do consider the cloud a financial issue.

    Before you jump into the different aspects of the cloud, do the math. Think about the size and nature of your company. Think about your current applications and the costs and capacity of your data center. Before you do anything, do a financial analysis of each approach.

  • Don’t go it alone.

    Most companies don't have the size and sophistication to build their own clouds, they need help. Remember an entire industry is just waiting out there to help you. Talk to your peers and consult with systems integrators and technology companies. Check out cloud Web sites and organizations for great ideas and collaboration opportunities.

  • Do think about your architecture.

    Just because you’re thinking about moving into the cloud doesn’t mean architecture is no longer important. You’ll probably have some business services that should be stored in a private or public cloud. You need to create an environment that is well planned and conforms to your company’s service level agreement and performance requirements.

  • Don’t neglect governance.

    Government regulation issues don’t disappear when you move into a cloud. For example, some industries and countries require that you store data in a very specific way and in specific places. If you don’t pay attention to compliance and governance, you’re putting your company at risk.

  • Don’t forget about business process.

    Start with the business process that you want to automate with your cloud initiatives. This is the building block of your cloud strategy. If you haven’t figured out how the business process will be managed in this new distributed world, your business could be at risk.

  • Do make security the centerpiece of your strategy.

    It’s easy to get caught up in the mix-and-match euphoria of the cloud and forget about the nitty-gritty issues. Pay close attention to the security. You still need a well-planned security strategy.

  • Don’t apply the cloud to everything.

    Not everything belongs in a cloud. If you don't have an economic or business reason to move that application to the cloud, don't move it. Do your homework so you have guidelines to help you determine if an application or a function belongs in the data center, a public cloud, or a private cloud.

  • Don’t forget about service management.

    It’s easy to assume that if something is in the cloud, you don’t have to worry about managing it. This isn’t true. Although many cloud providers provide you with a portal view of their service, it’s your responsibility to keep track of any service you have put into either a public or a private cloud.

    You are still responsible for the integrity and security of your information. Finding out how to manage your cloud vendors is an important starting point.

  • Do start with a pilot project.

    You might use a public cloud for testing a new application before it goes into production. This gives you a feeling for what it means to give up this level of control.

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