A few years ago, the main IT preoccupations of a small or medium sized company were an email system, an accounting system, workstations, printing facilities and internet access. If the organization had the required expertise and the financial means, it could also perform backups and have access to disaster recovery infrastructure.

The answer isn’t that simple. In fact, let us add a few more questions:

  • Why are you thinking of Cloud Computing? Where are you looking for thought leadership?
  • Are your equipment and software solutions obsolete?
  • Is your data important and is it secure?
  • Do you have the necessary expertise in-house to make an enlightened decision answering your needs?
  • Are you looking for cost savings or are added-value services important to you?

Here are the 10 steps to proceed to Cloud Computing proposed by the « Cloud Standards Customer Council »:

  • Build your team
  • Develop a business case and a Cloud Computing strategy for the organisation
  • Select one or several Cloud Computing deployment models (on-site private or off-site public)
  • Choose one or several Cloud-based service models (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS)
  • Determine who will develop, test and deploy the Cloud-based services
  • Develop governance policies and service level agreements
  • Evaluate and resolve security and confidentiality matters
  • Integrate the Cloud-based solutions to your existing enterprise services
  • Develop a proof of concept (PoC) before proceeding to production
  • Manage the Cloud Computing environment

(Source: CSCC, Practical Guide to Cloud Computing Version 2.0)

Business growth proceeds one step at a time and sometimes the step height is so great that we must think anew about our way of doing things.

Consulting experts would be a good idea if you are thinking of Cloud Computing, for some of your decisions may have an impact on your operations or make your infrastructure integration within your projects more complex.