Cloud Computing Do’s and Don’ts

October 31st, 2012 Leave a comment
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Cloud Computing Do's and Don'ts

Cloud computing is something of a dominant force in today’s IT enterprise and business world: much of the discussion in conferences and IT board rooms is about the pros and cons of the cloud and how it can apply to their particular business. Cloud computing is a powerful force that, used correctly, can increase an organization’s efficiency and reduce the cost of your IT infrastructure. Handled poorly, however, cloud computing can be an immense detriment to your organization’s productivity and ultimately be harmful in the long run. To help you avoid these issues, here are some general do’s and don’ts for introducing cloud computing technologies and infrastructure to your organization!

1. Do Run An Honest Cost Analysis On Migrating To Cloud Services

This may seem extremely obvious to perform, but a great deal of companies and organizations don’t run an honest cost analysis on their particular cloud services migration. A surprising amount of organizations only look at material cost, or the cost it takes to subscribe to the services versus the cost to maintain those services in-house. It’s also important to look at the human cost of migrating: do these services require significant training? Do they require new protocols or services, or do they scale well with the growth of your organization? Doing an honest cost-benefit analysis before the migration will help your company in the long run by making absolutely sure cloud computing is beneficial to you.

2. Do Make Sure That You Have Enough Bandwidth To Support Moving To The Cloud

Moving to the cloud is often great for services like e-mail and calendars- services that don’t require a great deal of bandwidth to function smoothly. Other services, however, might start to cause disruptions in the office if they’re moved to the cloud, like file hosting or databases. If you’re thinking about moving to the cloud, make sure to confirm that you have enough bandwidth to support pulling and pushing large files- a slow connection could cause unacceptably long wait times for employees who need to be able to move files quickly. If you don’t have a fast connection, keep file hosting and database services on-site on a faster local area connection so that your employees can keep working at an optimal pace.

3. Don’t Reduce Your IT Helpdesk Staff

This is a pretty common mistake that companies make when they move to the cloud: they assume that because the cloud providers take care of all the infrastructure, they won’t need to have their IT staff on site. Quite often, however, IT helpdesk staff are immensely useful both during the cloud migration and after- cloud configuration requires a great deal of technical knowledge to run smoothly, and many employees will often be left a bit disoriented by the cloud migration and will need helpdesk guidance to return to prior levels of productivity. Reducing helpdesk staff might mean you have to hire costly IT contractors to provide the levels of service you need in a pinch- not something that’s helping your bottom line!

4. Don’t Have The Cloud Be Your Only Point Of Backup

Backups are vital for organizations- data is one of the most costly aspects of an organization to replace, and good backups are a must when it comes to preparing for the worst. No matter how good your infrastructure is, accidents happen, and you have to be prepared to deal with an accident that requires you to restore from backups. Unfortunately, however, accidents also happen to cloud providers- no infrastructure is immune to accidents. As a result, don’t put all your backups into just one cloud provider- either have another backup cloud solution at hand or also make sure to have some sort of traditional off-site backup just in case that your current provider has a malfunction or failure that happens to affect your data.

Conclusion

The cloud is a wonderful boon to many organizations, and quite often it’s a good idea for companies, especially smaller businesses, to move some of their services to the cloud and save costs each year on maintaining infrastructure. It’s important, however, to make a good move to the cloud- some companies may not benefit from the cloud as much as others, and it’s important to consider certain facets of the migration before you make the plunge. Hopefully our quick do’s and don’ts list will help you have a great analysis and make your transition to the cloud a stress-free and low-cost endeavor!

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