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Preparation is key to successful cloud deployments

As organizations continue to struggle through today's ongoing economic crisis, the business world is becoming an increasingly aggressive place with companies doing everything in their power to survive and remain competitive with rival firms. In many cases, these demands are driving IT departments to deploying cloud computing services within the enterprise in an effort to enhance operations and reduce long-term IT expenses.

By implementing a private cloud environment, IT departments can leverage cloud technologies without migrating mission-critical resources off-site. Still, there are some precautions that IT executives need to take in order to remain competitive while leveraging the private cloud, according to a report by Data Center Knowledge.

In general, users like tools that boost efficiency, flexibility and give them the ability to customize their solutions. For IT departments to provide these capabilities, decision-makers need to be aware of what computing resources they have in their possession and which ones will be migrated to cloud-based environments, the news source said. Using an internal cloud means IT staff members need to manage the tools to meet user expectations.

At the wishes of most financial executives, IT decision-makers also need to establish a budget and determine how much the private cloud structures will cost in the short term and long run. In doing so, organizations will be able to establish a unique set of services that can meet and exceed requirements needed in an increasingly cutthroat business world, Data Center Knowledge said.

While leveraging the cloud is becoming more important for companies today, the services are truly only beneficial when an organization has created a robust service-level agreement. Strong SLAs should contain terms and conditions that are easy to understand and translate throughout the rest of the business, the news source noted. SLAs should contain rules and responsibilities for both parties - the firm and the vendor - to ensure each meet expectations.

SLAs also need to include information as to where and how sensitive assets are stored and protected, according to a separate report by Network World. This is especially important as big data continues to gain steam in the enterprise, increasing the volumes of information organizations are responsible for managing.

While the cloud can yield significant advantages for many businesses, decision-makers need to be prepared for its implementation and use if they want to remain competitive.

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