03/06/11

By Charles Barratt, head of cloud computing and VDI solutions at Intrinsic Technology

Make sure it’s the right decision

Before identifying a ‘cloud ready’ network, you should consider the business case and fully address the feasibility. There is no point going down the cloud route without checking and truly understanding the need for it first.

Do your research

Any cloud expert advising your business should take into consideration the business strategy — for example whether it is looking at mergers and acquisitions or whether it will be relying on organic growth, the peaks in business system demand and the cost model that organisations work on.

Have a little faith

When certain data is business critical, businesses are often very reluctant to store this in the cloud and would rather keep it closer to them by holding it in-house. However, cloud is a feasible option for many businesses and there needs to be an element of faith in the expert advice given.

Factor in affordability

Businesses must not overlook the costs as the full investment needed to migrate to the cloud can be significant. It therefore needs to be factored into the budgeting and then considered when predicting the return on investment.

Read the small print

Before getting carried away and form any kind of agreement, you need to ensure they have all the details relating to any SLAs and KPIs involved.

Have a possible exit

You need to be able to understand how they will exit the cloud, how easy it will be the get the data back and how difficult it to come to the end of any contracts. Many cloud companies will provide financial compensation if the service is ever down temporarily — again, this element of the contract needs to be understood.

Trust is a must

Trusting a provider is a must. Organisations who are under the impression that the public cloud is not secure have overlooked the strength of services such as Microsoft, Amazon and Google — these will have better security than many other organisations as they have large security teams offering extensive defence in depth and ultimately the organisations place trust in the brand and they cannot risk damaging that relationship. However, where smaller cloud providers exist, the robustness of the business must be considered.

Transparency, transparency, transparency

Transparency between businesses and the industry experts is vital. Businesses considering entering the cloud should take their time and investigate it fully before signing up to anything. Any cloud computing expert will address the individual business case and be transparent from the initial meeting to implementation and beyond.

For more information on cloud computing or to hear more from Charles Barratt, please visit http://www.intrinsictechnology.co.uk/