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Don't jump into the cloud without planning

Although the cloud is gaining significant momentum in the business landscape, uncoordinated attempts to implement the technology can leave companies facing more significant issues than the problems that initially encouraged decision-makers to address by using the cloud in the first place. These sprawled and scattershot cloud computing projects are tarnishing the hosted service's reputation, despite the substantial advantages that can be achieved if the solutions are deployed properly.

To combat these issues, organizations need to take their time deploying the cloud and find the solutions that best meet their needs. A recent eWeek report noted that selecting the right service means executives should begin by assessing business operations and which projects can be augmented through the use of the cloud. If decision-makers implement a cloud infrastructure solely because their competitors are doing so, they will likely encounter obstacles associated with poorly planning a deployment project.

By taking the time to find the right offering and vendor, large enterprises and small businesses will both experience the huge financial and operational benefits associated with the cloud.

"As far as I can tell, the cloud is magic," technology expert Mark Imbriaco told eWeek.

Consider current resources
In addition to planning for a firm's current operations and demands, decision-makers also need to look at their available resources. While the cloud promises to reduce costs, it is not free to install and will require some upfront investments, especially if a firm opts to implement an on-site private cloud, eWeek noted. For this reason, executives must ensure they have the capital that will cover the fees associated with reinventing the data center.

Besides financial resources, companies also need to be aware of their current IT capabilities. The cloud does not mean a firm can simply discard its IT staff, as the hosted environment will still need to be monitored, maintained and managed, eWeek stated. Because the cloud is relatively new to many IT professionals, however, businesses need to take the time to ensure employees are able to work with the cloud without introducing unnecessary complications.

A Datamation report said organizations should establish a set of metrics to assess how cloud projects are carried out in the long run, allowing firms to determine whether deployments were effective or created complex scenarios that need to be addressed.

In the coming years, the cloud will become an increasingly important tool in the workplace, allowing organizations to reinvent themselves and gain an advantage over competitors not using the technology.

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