“Cloud computing” has become the new mother of all IT buzzwords. Everyone has an opinion on it, but how are companies actually using the cloud? We polled our braintrust of senior IT professionals and found that only 5 percent of members’ companies currently use cloud storage (though 31% are considering it), showing that many companies still have yet to make the leap to the cloud. Hype and buzzwords aside, we wanted to see what IT pros had to say about cloud computing and find out how IT professionals can pick the best cloud service for their business. At Wisegate, we spoke with our executive members who have cloud experience and walked away with five real practices that any company contemplating cloud computing services should consider.
1) Have clearly stated, strategic objectives in mind
With so many voices interjecting and a myriad of choices facing you and your team, it is easy to get off track. Clearly stating strategic objectives, such as your backup, storage or disaster recovery requirements, will ensure that your organization gets exactly what it needs in a cloud solution and will save you endless headaches in the long run.
2) Cast a wide net when seeking proposals
Sourcing cloud services is not an all-or-nothing proposition for a single vendor. When we polled our members, we found that a majority of them have investigated and invested in multiple cloud services to create a customized solution that meets their company objectives. Casting a wide net diversifies your risk and prevents you from getting stuck with one vendor.
3) Consider Azure for Microsoft-Centric environments
Several members made the decision to use Azure for disaster recovery and PaaS services, specifically in hand with Sharepoint. The Azure model should be considered for Microsoft environments, even if it is only used in a limited capacity.
4) Be ready to re-architect and migrate over time
So you picked a vendor, and your team is gung-ho about getting into the cloud as quickly as possible. Not so fast. When it comes to migrating to the cloud, you’re in for a marathon, not a sprint. Most organizations need a year or longer to re-architect when moving a datacenter application to the cloud.
5) Be wary of audits
Our experts found a satisfactory level of auditing services available through their cloud computing services. However, it never hurts to conduct your own auditing through PaaS tools. If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that with sensitive data, you’re better safe than sorry.
There are a myriad of cloud vendors and solutions out there for you to consider. There is no one size fits all cloud computing option, but with a little time, some planning and input from your peers, determining if the cloud is a match for your organization and choosing a vendor is a not as impossible a task as it might seem.
By Sara Gates, Founder and CEO, Wisegate
Wisegate is a new kind of IT advisory service that combines the collective expertise of IT professionals with patented social and matching algorithms to deliver better answers, whenever you need them.