Five Keys to Making Clouds Fly

By Samuel Greengard Print this article Print

Cloud computing is rapidly rolling into the mainstream of business and IT. The technology is revolutionizing the way organizations manage infrastructure and business processes.

Five Keys to Making Clouds Fly

1. Understand your business objectives and desired service levels.

The cloud encompasses many things and disparate capabilities. Tata Consultancy CTO Ananth Krishnan says that the starting point is to clearly define the business case for a cloud and understand how it affects the organization.

2. Create a road map and clearly defined plan.

"It's easy for cloud initiatives to pop up across an enterprise and for the organization to lose control over everything,” Accenture consultant Andrew Greenway says. “It's possible to buy many services with a credit card.” When that happens, he adds, "Data may wind up going places where it shouldn't go." Greenway recommends developing a plan and building a governance system to manage clouds.

3. Address high-value tactical problems first.

It's unwise to toss a mission-critical application or process into the cloud. Start with a discreet database or storage challenge, gain experience and then build on success. Consider using a public cloud, which delivers results with no formal investment.

4. Contract with a trusted provider and negotiate a sound SLA.

Not all service providers are created equal. Engage in the necessary due-diligence and hammer out an acceptable service-level agreement.

5. Focus on security.

Protection is critical--and heavily regulated industries must pay particular attention to security and compliance issues, Tata’s Krishnan says. But well-designed clouds aren't necessarily riskier than internally operated systems, and, in many cases, they are actually more secure.

This article was originally published on 2012-07-23
Samuel Greengard is a freelance writer for Baseline.
eWeek eWeek

Have the latest technology news and resources emailed to you everyday.