A Checklist for a Move to the Cloud

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ben Kepes


It seems to me that we’re slowly getting to a point where organizations are no longer doubting the suitability of the Cloud for them, but rather having to make some big decisions about which Cloud vendor to use.

One of the things we’ve talked about a lot over the time we’ve been running the CloudU series is how Cloud Computing tends to democratize technology, meaning that organizations can get a level of IT that they simply wouldn’t have been able to achieve previously.

There’s s flip side to this democratization however in that this high level of accessibility also means that it’s very easy for organizations to set themselves up as vendors – sometimes without the necessary level of professionalism that would be optimal.

More and more than organization are having to perform a thorough due diligence and really assess the quality of prospective vendors.

In a previous CloudU report we wrote in depth about what organizations need to think about when planning a move to the Cloud. But recently over on BoxFreeIT, Loryan Smith raised the issue once again. In the piece Loryan rightly pointed out that:

anyone can run an email and file server from their garage and call it a cloud service. The problem is that Bob’s Garage Cloud Co. doesn’t have all the key technical and business components in place to provide organizations with a business-class service.

So here’s a very quick checklist of things that organizations should be aware of or think about when moving to the Cloud;

  • Have a process for deciding which applications or workloads are candidates for Cloud
  • Think about service requirements in terms of security, compliance and performance
  • Consider issues around migrating existing workloads
  • Think about the economic factors – what to do about existing sunk costs
  • Accurately think about the potential demand curve to assess the economic impacts of a move to the Cloud
  • Consider issues relating to vendor lock-in
  • Make sure any prospective vendor is sufficiently flexible to meet your needs
  • Think about the changing scope of needs within your IT department
  • Consider the management challenges that the move might introduce – things like dealing with objections and employee retraining

While we believe that Cloud is the way of the future for IT, we are adamant that organizations need to think long and hard about what the move to the Cloud and how that move occurs – one valuable resource for discussing the challenges and opportunities is he CloudU LinkedIn group, we’d love to see you over there!

Cross-posted from Diversity

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