How Do You Get There From Here? - InformationWeek

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IoT
IoT
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Commentary
5/4/2010
05:00 PM
John Soat
John Soat
Commentary
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How Do You Get There From Here?

So you've been hearing about the benefits of cloud computing: speed to market, cost control, flexibility. And you've read a couple of interesting case studies. But now you're wondering: How do I get there from here? First recommendation: Don't do anything drastic, like blowing up your data center. Instead, keep it simple and stay focused.

So you've been hearing about the benefits of cloud computing: speed to market, cost control, flexibility. And you've read a couple of interesting case studies. But now you're wondering: How do I get there from here? First recommendation: Don't do anything drastic, like blowing up your data center. Instead, keep it simple and stay focused.

The first step is to make sure you have a reliable, high-speed WAN infrastructure. That's most likely not an issue with large companies, but small and mid-sized organizations need to ensure the fact that they can operate effectively and efficiently over the Web.

Next, decide which form of cloud computing suits your current needs. Software-as-a-service is the most familiar and probably the most reliable cloud category at this point, so look for an application you can move online that will have significant impact, either competitively or in terms of cost.

An interesting first choice for a cloud application is e-mail. There are a variety of well-known vendors that offer e-mail as a service, including the on-premises king Microsoft, which is gearing up for a big customer migration to the cloud. In an InformationWeek article about cloud e-mail, Tony Scott, CIO of Microsoft, is quoted as saying: "We'll look back in five years and say, 'Why would anyone run their own e-mail?'"

Of course, there are other cloud categories to consider, such as infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service. There is even the possibility of implementing a private cloud, that is, a cloud-computing type infrastructure within your own data center. Microsoft's Azure is an example of the emerging product category that supports private clouds (as well as the public cloud).

The most important point is, stay focused on results. Fit the cloud into your technology strategy, not the other way around.So you've been hearing about the benefits of cloud computing: speed to market, cost control, flexibility. And you've read a couple of interesting case studies. But now you're wondering: How do I get there from here? First recommendation: Don't do anything drastic, like blowing up your data center. Instead, keep it simple and stay focused.

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