Solution Provider IDs Five Cloud Common Strategy Errors

Steve Pelletier, cloud solution architect at Logicalis Group, a $1 billion, U.K.-based IT communications service provider with 17 offices in the U.S., says that cloud computing's somewhat loose definition has led to "people not fully understanding the enormous opportunities" the technology offers.

In Logicalis' view, the inability of a company to articulate a sound cloud strategy leaves it vulnerable to flimsy plans and an underuse of the technology.

"If you ask 10 people to define 'the cloud,' you'll get 30 answers," Pelletier says.

"Cloud is a buzzword; you hear commercials and advertisements all saying 'Cloud, cloud, cloud,'" he says. "But it's not a well-defined term and that leads to people not fully understanding the enormous opportunities that cloud computing can offer their businesses today," says Pelletier.

"When businesspeople - even the most experienced IT pros - have a limited view of this nebulous term, 'the cloud,' it's hard for them to make the best decisions for their companies," he says.

According to Logicalis, businesses make five common mistakes that cause them to miss out on the full potential of the cloud, bypassing important services and savings in the process.

In constructing a cloud strategy, too many companies look mainly at the short term benefits instead of developing a longer-term strategy. Taking a longer view won't limit future capabilities and foster design limitations.

Secondly, companies should resist viewing the cloud as a way to acquire a single service. The cloud encompasses a wide variety of services such as platform-as-a-service, infrastructure-as-a-service, software-as-a-service, backup and disaster recovery-as-a-service, all of which can and should play a role in a company's cloud strategy.

Thirdly, companies that view cloud computing as the next evolutionary step in information technology may miss its importance as a business strategy. Cloud computing enables companies to tap IT resources as a service and can have a major transitional impact on a company's business processes.

Fourth, IT professionals in a company must be up to date on what each business unit needs in terms of services before they can build a coherent company-wide cloud solution to give users what they want when they want it.

Lastly, IT professionals must take into consideration the impact on performance and the user's experience in each cloud decision they make. It's not only the bottom line that counts.

What's the best way to avoid these cloud computing pitfalls? Enlist the assistance of an experienced cloud computing partner to help develop a clear cloud strategy, says Pelletier.

"Companies should seek a cloud partner that has the ability to consult with you and develop a cloud strategy and roadmap," he says. "By finding a partner that understands and can deliver on the complexities of both public and private clouds, that gives businesses the ability to examine every angle of a solution."

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