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3 Key Questions about Cloud Computing People are not Afraid to Ask

3 Key Questions about Cloud Computing People are not Afraid to Ask

I have been writing about cloud computing for quite a while now and I have tried to write on topics I thought would be useful to my readers. From my interaction with both insiders and novices, one thing has been made very clear, the process of adopting and migrating to the cloud is one that can look overwhelming and people have questions. So I have listened to the voice of the people and I would like to focus on three that seem the most important.

  • Why is the first and the question asked most often. I have already written articles like The 3 Greatest Reasons to Move to the Cloud and answered this in general terms. However, the question is more specific, becoming why should I do it? Does it meet my needs? And to solve this, the focus must be kept on each company’s business needs and any solution be specifically tailored to satisfy them. So really, there is no easy answer, as each case has to be considered in its particulars. A business considering migrating to the cloud has to start with a strong business case, identify its actual needs – are they only looking at emails and files storage or more complex applications – and discuss all the particulars with service providers.
  • Is it secure and reliable? This is a question people are definitely asking, as the process requires for potentially critical business data being stored away, completely out of a company’s control. The services provider must ensure your data is secure and protected for any eventuality and also that you have access to it when and required. Choose your provider and service level carefully, based on the level of security and reliability required by your business needs, and thoroughly. Ensure they have a very good reputation and credentials and thoroughly read contracts, policies and standard level agreements to be sure everything is according to your needs.
  • How much will it cost? I think this question needs to go together with how much will I save following implementation, which I discussed in a previous article How Much Can You Save On Your Cloud Computing Implementation? The actual implementation costs depend on the complexity and level of services your business requires and the provider you choose, who can give you an estimate. There is no investment to be made in hardware infrastructure and by only paying for what you use the actual cost of services is greatly reduced.

These are, in my opinion, the three questions with which a business considering implementing cloud computing needs to start the discussion both internally and with potential services providers. As always with the cloud, there is no size fits all and all circumstances and needs must be considered individually to achieve the level of service to fit perfectly. And to keep the discussion going, what other questions do you think need to be added to the three above?

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  • Tim Wessels

    October 18, 2011

    At the risk of being too simplistic, I would add that moving to the cloud is all about the apps and the platform(s) they are running on in the cloud. When all of the apps are written in the cloud (PaaS) that’s where people will go to run them. I think PaaS is the big sleeper in the evolution of cloud computing. Everyone gets subscribing to SaaS apps and if you want to use raw infrastructure (compute, storage, networking) then IaaS is where you go…principally to AWS but there are other choices too. PaaS is the sleeper because is the smallest part of the cloud in terms of revenue generated. Even Mr. Ballmer at Microsoft said it would be years before Azure made any money for the company. The holy grail is for PaaS providers to make it easy for citizen developers to create their own apps in the cloud using a platform around which a rich ecosystem of 3rd parties has evolved. The network effects of PaaS platforms that evolve into well developed ecosystems is where cloud computing gets very interesting for many organizations. Cost savings in the face of a declining economy only gets you so far along the road to cloud adoption, especially if your needs lie outside what SaaS providers are capable of doing. Some PaaS and SaaS cloud service providers seem to understand this and they will be working hard to attract an army of citizen developers to their platform.

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