It is without doubt that Cloud technology solutions offers immediate cost savings with its pay-as-you-go model and promises a future of greater agility, speed, and reach. However, Cloud Computing still has its risks. Security remains a concern among many CIOs, as does the fear of data being permanently captured by vendors.
And now that the hype on Cloud is over, it’s time for the CIO to really evaluate the impact of this platform on his business – what it brings on the table for his organization today and in the long run, the urgency of this platform for his business and the impact this transition would on the company in terms of costs, savings and business performance, today and in the future.
We are enlisting 5 factors every CIO must consider before you commit to the Cloud:
As per Gartner, by 2020, a corporate “no-cloud” policy will be very rare, just like how “no-internet” policy is rare today.
- Does my Business need to be on the Cloud?
Forbes reports that according to analysts, all-Cloud Computing is inevitable. However, will there be similar benefits witnessed in your organization? Cloud-based solutions can show exponential improvements in businesses heavily dependent upon IT, those with a mammoth and geographically dispersed user base, one needing unlimited storage space and those with sensitive data. However, industries such as traditional Tea industries need not move to the Cloud.
- Have I considered the implications of moving my data to the cloud?
They claim, sensitive data is stored on an external server that is managed by a service provider outside of your core IT team. To address these concerns, several countries and industries have specific rules and standards regarding storage and use of sensitive customer data. Nuclear Energy, Government, and Healthcare sectors are known to have extremely stringent policies to prevent data theft. Does your proposed cloud model abide by all the rules and required security measures in your area? This is a key question that needs to be answered for your business to function within the legal framework and achieve benefits from the cloud.
According to Bitglass, 90% of the more than 1,000 IT and IT security practitioners who took part in a cloud security survey are very or moderately concerned about cloud security.
- Public Cloud? Private Cloud? WHAT?
There are 3 basic models of the cloud – Public Cloud (all your data and applications are moved on to external servers which are shared by multiple companies), Private Cloud (all your data and applications are moved to servers used exclusively for your company – based in your premises or outside), and Hybrid Cloud (some mission critical data and applications can be moved to a private cloud, and others to a public cloud). It is extremely critical to decide the approach that is most preferable to you. This depends primarily on the type of data you’re working with and the different level of security and management required. Most first time cloud adopters go for a Hybrid approach, whereas companies which deal with sensitive data or are governed by legislations typically go for a Private Cloud. It is advisable to consult a cloud specialist to decide upon the most suitable model for your business.
- Who is going make me move to the Cloud?
Companies will need to take the help of a partner or system integrator that can facilitate the move to the cloud, as well as take care of post implementation support, training the team, and updates. While choosing a System Integrator, you should keep in mind their background & years in existence, experience at implementing cloud based solutions, industry specialization, etc. It is most important to negotiate and finalize on Service Level Agreements (SLAs) at this stage, which will determine the level of service provided going forward.
- How do I choose the right Cloud vendor?
There are several cloud providers and partners that are available in the market right now; and therefore, you should put a good thought into selecting the right one. First of all, you should identify your requirements and expectations from a cloud-based system. Once this is finalized, you need to ask the right questions from the service providers, the most important ones being around which cloud services they provide, their technical capabilities experience, pricing structure, security measures that they can provide, after sales services, ability to scale as per business requirements, etc.
These are just some of the key things to be kept in mind before moving on to a cloud based system. More challenges come up and decisions need to be taken as you move further into planning and implementing your cloud-based landscape, but with an experienced cloud partner that can help simplify these decisions, cloud implementations has been proven to deliver savings – both in terms of cost and productivity.