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How to Quit Worrying About Cloud and Start Preparing

        posted by , December 18, 2011

Behind every cloud is another cloud.
~ Judy Garland
Is cloud computing making you gloomy?

With all the hype and misinformation surrounding cloud computing it's easy to feel a little overwhelmed. The more you read about the cloud the more questions that pop up.

It's hard to know how to get started. Should you go with SaaS, PaaS or IaaS? Private, public or hybrid? What about security and integration?

The following 10-steps are a sensible way to get started on the path to cloud success.

1. Start the discussion

Most organizations benefit from cloud strategy workshops. Don't wait until it's too late. The time to start discussing cloud computing for your organization is now.

2. Train your key people in cloud

Even if you're not going to cloud right now, it's critical that your key people be informed.

3. Identify business opportunities

Consider cloud approaches for your major IT projects.

Cloud investments should be driven by business need (not fascination with cloud technology).

4. Establish a cloud strategy

Expect that your future projects will increasingly leverage cloud approaches.

Ensure that your architectural strategy and planning addresses challenges such as cloud security, integration and data escrow.

5. Find a cloud visionary to drive your strategy forward

Find someone who knows what they're talking about to own and champion your cloud strategy. Someone who does more than talk the cloud talk — someone who can execute a cloud strategy.

6. Manage resistance to change

Expect people in your organization to resist cloud approaches. In many ways, cloud is a revolutionary approach that breaks the old rules.

7. Prepare your architecture

Cloud computing has created a new generation of legacy software. Avoid future legacy issues with cloud ready architectures.

8. Take baby steps on to the cloud

Your first foray into cloud doesn't need to be big. In fact, incremental approaches are more effective.

9. Measure results

Measure the return on investment of your cloud projects and measure your cloud services.

10. Repeat steps 1-9

Fast cycles of preparation, strategy, planning, execution and measurement are the best path to cloud success.

This is the 10th in a 12-part series of posts called How to Win at Cloud.

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