Are you ready for Cloud Computing?
How do you know if cloud computing is right for your organization? Even though cloud computing is everywhere, is being offered by all major technology players, and all agree you need it, never forget definitions continue to vary. It’s important for anyone looking at the cloud to find the right balance of cost to benefit, availability, scalability, and capacity to drive the best decision. Understanding these in addition to your organizations risk profile is essential to determine if cloud computing and associated services are right you.
Here are some basic questions I always recommend that you ask yourself:
Question #1: Does the implementation cost justify the business disruption?
Application and data center migrations are costly, painful and complicated. CMS systems that are tightly coupled to other applications may be the most expensive to migrate. Cost saving will vary by project and organization. Often the greatest savings are found with labor, hardware and software over a length of time. The key is to determine what that the time length is and does it outweigh the business disruption.
Question #2: How much capacity and bandwidth will you use?
Whether you own or lease your server the capital outlay is consistent from month to month. If more capacity or bandwidth is needed, someone creates a purchase order and eventually a new asset is available. Cloud computing is an ‘on demand’ service, scalability is provided as needed. For many companies this type of utilization spike may be a problem. Know what you need before signing up.
Question #3: Does you CMS require specific hardware configurations?
Some applications cannot and others should not be virtualized as they require specific underlying hardware components. While tempting, it’s best not to migrate these types of application to the cloud. Ask your vendor for real customer references and architectures.
Question #4: Do you have any regulatory hurdles?
Not all data can or should reside online. Governmental agencies may mandate that sensitive data remain local. Besides regulatory constraints an organization has to be willing to place their customer’s data in the hands of a third party vendor. The cloud requires that an organization has to be willing to give us some level of control. If you are an organization that considers this unacceptable, then the cloud may not be the place for you.