Many SMBs are moving their business-critical applications to the cloud to take advantage of its flexibility, scalability and cost benefits. The cloud is far from perfect, however, and there are some steps that businesses should take to ensure a smooth transition.

Clearly define the problem the app is trying to solve
Make sure you have a clear understanding of the cloud application your business will be using to determine if it will indeed serve you business’ needs. Selecting the proper application for the job, and for your business processes, will allow you to tackle business problems more efficiently. Don’t be afraid to tweak the application so that it better meets your needs. Be sure that the developers and programmers have a clear understanding of the problems you are trying to solve.

Identify usage requirements
In order to fully understand the application you are moving to the cloud, you must get a clear understanding of usage requirements. Does it require multiple parallel build-and-test environments? Can you scale up or down based on usage patterns? Will it allow you to collaborate with remote teams easily? What specific roles and access rights need to be managed within the organization?

Define security policies
Each business has different security requirements. Businesses that face strict compliance regulations will have much more stringent security requirements than less-regulated SMBs. You must have a clear understanding of your security needs to you can select a cloud application that meets all those requirements. Additionally, does the application scale without compromising security?

Set goals
Determine how you will measure the success of the cloud application. Knowing how to measure and improve the application is critical to success. Business goals and success metrics may vary by application.

Set clear expectations
It is important to that you set clear expectations for your cloud provider and make sure your cloud provider understands your expectations and goals, security policies, and budget requirements. Can the provider deliver on the goals that you set on everything from training, to policy management to security to user access, to reporting, to management? The closer you work with your provider to set clear goals and expectations, the better results you will have when deploying a cloud app.


Considering a move to the Cloud?

Join ACE IT Solutions for our Cloud 101 Lunch & Learn: Learn How Your Business Can Benefit From Cloud Technology

ACE IT Solutions Cloud 101 Lunch & Learn will be held on July 27, 2011 from 12 pm – 2 pm. It is open to all SMBs and it is free. For more details and registration, visit Cloud 101 Lunch & Learn.

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