4 Things to Consider Before Moving to the Cloud
With all the buzz surrounding the cloud, it might seem like moving there will either save your business or doom it — depending on who you listen to. Yet, underlying all this hype and anxiety are some big considerations that IT departments everywhere must make before switching to a cloud-based service.
Just like real clouds in the atmosphere, cloud servers come in many shapes and sizes. Before you can determine what switching to a cloud-based service will do for you, you need to make a clear assessment of how it will specifically impact your business.
In many situations, cloud-based service has the potential to not only benefit the customer, but also increase an IT department’s value to the larger business. Here are four things to consider that will make the cloud’s implications for your business as clear as day.
1. Understand the cloud
Before anything else, it's necessary to understand the basics of the cloud — and not to get intimidated by the switch. Moving to the public cloud means moving part, or all, of your operations (defined here by EMC) to the physical infrastructure of another company, which run highly secure servers (explained in more detail here by marketplace.org) to provide cloud service.
This means your IT staff’s job becomes more about managing virtual environments, with enterprise data going to many of the same data centers that we depend on for our mobile phones and Google searches.
There’s also the option of using private cloud servers, which are dedicated to your company and depend on a proprietary architecture. Choosing between the public and private cloud depends on your company’s specific data needs.
2. Consider the specific needs of your company — and act on them
While some in IT are relentlessly pushing a switch to the cloud, there's no need to rush, as InfoWorld opines. In fact, carefully considering your options will ensure that you receive a more reliable cloud-based service. And the switch doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing — you should make a thought-out decision on whether or not to embrace a multi-vendor approach based on your resources, security needs, storage, and other such considerations.
If your company’s computing needs are fairly unpredictable, using a private cloud might be the better option, as you’ll have more direct control over environments and greater transparency into day-to-day activity. Conversely, renting server space from Amazon or Microsoft is a much more practical (and affordable) option.
3. With improved service to your clients, the job of IT becomes more complicated
Of course, it’s always been a central goal of IT to improve web service for their customers, and if your switch to the cloud is handled correctly, that’s exactly what will happen, according to ZDNet. Assuming you take the proper precautions when migrating to cloud servers, you must consider how these changes will affect IT operations at large.
While business and IT are growing increasingly intertwined, a good move for the overall business can still make the job of IT much more complicated. Before the move to the cloud even happens, considerable plans for doing so must be made, reviewed, and actually implemented. Following the move, cloud computing becomes a relatively simple proposition for IT, because much of the maintenance has now been outsourced. Furthermore, the more common mix of in-house and cloud-based operations creates an even more complex system for your IT department to grapple with.
4. The software to ensure quality service is here
Luckily, the TeamQuest Suite of capacity management tools already exists to make this transition a smooth one for your company. There's no need to rush the switch to cloud-based services, but there's no need to delay, either. The solutions for a smart, well-planned approach are here, as are the tools to help you hold down day-to-day operations. That means you can focus on IT innovation without lags in service, which will allow you to get ahead of the competition and maximize your IT operation's potential.
(Main image credit: Perspecsys Photos/flickr)