When dealing with cloud computing, it can be hard enough to keep up with fast-emerging technologies, much less understand how to put them to work for your business. Here are a few tips to consider in your efforts to keep your cloud strategy on track.
Think big – but start small: a highly targeted plan for adoption is an effective way to keep risk in check while getting the most out of cloud services. Target pilot projects for specific functions, starting with simple applications and services such as testing, development or overflow capacity. Begin internal testing of cloud technologies and services management disciplines to determine the best operational model for your organisation – public, private, or hybrid. From there, you can expand as needs arise.
Keep information risk minimal: particularly when starting out, it’s important to keep your information protected. Data privacy and protection standards, data segregation standards, regulatory compliance issues – these are all areas that could be threatened by a cloud project that’s gone astray. Keep them protected no matter what.
Don’t forget the operational side of the equation: what are your network bandwidth requirements for remote cloud computing access? How are IT services integration issues to be handled? How will data be protected when subscribing to a cloud computing service? How are service level agreements affected by your cloud arrangements? These are just a few of the issues that can keep the best cloud strategies from taking off. How cloud services are integrated with your day-to-day operations is of critical importance. Think through the details from the start.
Demand enterprise-class governance and service management: your enterprise requires mature, adaptable governance and service management capabilities – especially when it comes to clouds. Getting your internal IT service delivery model in order is a key step in establishing standardised processes that can be moved to the cloud. Business rules, policies, and data governance should be clearly defined within an enterprise to protect the integrity of interactions that may occur across different cloud services and providers.
Make the case: any cloud strategy worth implementing should be supported by a business case. Take the time from the start to forecast usage scenarios and estimate total costs and benefits. From there, compare the estimated savings against traditional methods of IT service delivery, clearly outlining the business case for cloud adoption.
Cloud computing can deliver significant benefits today. All it takes is having the right plan in place. An effective cloud computing implementation can help organisations: