How to Design a Cloud Computing Strategy - dummies

How to Design a Cloud Computing Strategy

By Judith Hurwitz, Robin Bloor, Marcia Kaufman, Fern Halper

Many companies think that the cloud has the potential to dramatically reduce the costs of managing their technology infrastructure. Before you jump into cloud computing you need to take the time to design a cloud computing strategy that will work best for your company.

Now that you’ve decided you want to use cloud computing in your company, it’s tempting to simply start using a variety of cloud services. However, you need to make sure that you’ve developed a cloud computing strategy that is designed around your company. Not every cloud design is right for every company.

Here are five key areas that you should consider when designing your cloud computing strategy:

  • When and how should you use a public, private, and hybrid cloud service?

  • What is your company’s strategy for managing capital and operational expenses over time?

  • How do you plan to achieve the right level of service across the cloud and the data center?

  • What are the rules and regulations that your cloud provider needs to adhere to, to keep your company safe and in compliance?

  • How are you planning to control the data as it moves out of your data center into external clouds?

There is no one right path or strategy to leveraging cloud services within your business. The decision depends on your data center, your applications, your service portfolio, and your changing business requirements.

Don’t try to do everything at once with your cloud strategy. It probably makes sense to roll out these services gradually so you can see the benefits and get buy-in throughout your organization. Plus, starting cloud services step by step can help you react quickly to business needs.

When designing a cloud computing strategy, you must also consider the efficiency and effectiveness of your current data center, the costs involved, the risks, and how ready your organization is to make a change.

After you understand the issues and gaps, you can start designing your cloud plan — the road map that outlines what services you need for business growth, how you’ll roll them out, and when you’ll roll them out.

You need to understand how your vendors track performance and security. Don’t simply take their word for it and assume that everything is perfectly fine. Remember, you’re turning over some key responsibility to a cloud provider, but the buck still stops with your organization.