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10 Things to Consider Before Moving to the Cloud: Virtual Private Data Center Feature

There is much talk throughout the telecommunications industry about moving to the “cloud.”  Companies are throwing out software solutions in favor of on-demand options available in the cloud.

To take it another step further, some organizations are completely eliminating their data centers, trusting their entire infrastructure to a provider who will maintain their network, processes and software solutions in a remote location.

While there are a number of benefits to the cloud, some may be jumping too soon.

“My opinion: the problems of providing cloud have not been sorted out yet,” says Mac Scott in a Capacity article. Scott is an associate director at Xantus, a consultancy that advises global enterprises on their technology strategies.
“IT departments are aware of these problems. I’m not sure the business community is aware. Often the business leaders read the articles about cloud, but don’t realize the differences between what they can use and what others can use.”

Scott says the claims for cloud are exaggerated due to the confusion between a best-effort, commodity service which minimizes cost and the service and assurance that customers want if they are to rely on cloud-based applications to run their business. This gap must be closed by carriers, but they will need help to do so.

Before taking that sky high leap to the cloud, there are 10 specific things to consider:

1)      What Apps can you leverage the cloud for? – By selecting those applications that can easily transition, you can drive a more seamless migration.
2)      What vendor would match up? – It is important to identify your needs before you look for a vendor. You don’t want to have to change your processes for a right-fit solution; it should be the other way around.
3)      Is your data secure? – Moving your data center to the cloud can deliver significant benefits, but these can be easily negated if the environment is not secure.
4)      Are you still in compliance? – Does your industry allow for your move to the cloud? Do your homework and make sure you aren’t planning a move you can’t sustain.
5)      What’s the support plan? – How will you get the help you need once you are running in the cloud?
6)      Back-up? – How will your information be stored to ensure you can easily access it in the event of a failure?
7)      Fail-over or DR (disaster recovery) – The idea of moving to a cloud inspires instant disaster recovery, but don’t assume that is the case. Be sure you have a firm plan in place and the option to quickly flip the necessary switch in the event of a failure.
8)      How are you charging lines of business for this? – When you move everything to a cloud environment, all costs are put together. Put a plan in place for how these costs can be assigned to different departments or branches before you make the change.
9)      Has it been tested? – Are you the first company to make the change with this provider? Has any other division within your company made this change?
10)  Scalability and Flexibility – In essence, the cloud is designed to deliver such benefits, but don’t assume you can easily scale without challenges. Explore your options before you implement.
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