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Understanding the cloud will result in success

While cloud computing continues to gain momentum in and outside the workplace, the underlying concept behind the hosted services is not entirely new. Instead, it is an expansion of trends that have been taking place in the consumer and private sector for several years, culminating in one auspicious technology dubbed "the cloud."

Even though the cloud is picking up speed within businesses, Dan Kusnetzky, founder of Kusnetzky Group and former IDC analyst, said not enough decision-makers are asking the right questions on their quest to implement a cloud infrastructure, according to a Forbes report. While concerns regarding whether to deploy public, hybrid or private cloud services is important, too few organizations are discussing the bottom-line goals associated with using the technology.

Kusnetzky said it is crucial that top executives talk over whether migration to the cloud is worth the effort, as doing so means companies must take the time to assess which legacy solutions and services can be moved to the hosted environment.

"It's good to start with asking the business, 'What are you trying to accomplish?' before we try and select which tool will help that process along," said Kusnetzky, according to Forbes.  "Do they really to move what they're doing somewhere else? Or is what they're doing good enough? Information technology often centers on what is 'good enough.'"

Other cloud considerations
Companies also need to understand the general direction in which their cloud projects will take them, as blindly building service upon service will likely result in significant performance issues, Kusnetzky asserted.

"If you just start with a tool or start with a service and build and build and build, without knowing what your architectural requirements really are, you might end up with a total mess on your hands that is very hard to manage, and may actually be more costly," Kusnetzky said.

Businesses also need to consider security and reliability from the beginning to avoid potential hiccups down the road. This was highlighted in a study by CipherCloud, which found organizations that fail to address security issues early on often need to halt projects mid-deployment to make adjustments. This can cost millions of dollars and result in lower efficiency rates.

As the cloud continues to gain momentum in the business world, decision-makers need to know what they are getting involved in so they can make the appropriate choices along the way. If companies blindly jump into the cloud with no planning, it will likely be an unpleasant experience.

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