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Are You Ready for the Cloud? Assessments Can Provide Insight

by Dave Moorman

For several years, I’ve been hearing from customers who liked the idea of cloud computing but were worried about the security, privacy or accessibility of their applications and data. Some had a hard time envisioning what the cloud is, or how it works. How can their data and programs be segregated from those of other businesses if they are on the same server? How can a solution used by so many companies offer better delivery speeds than a pipeline used by just one?

Interestingly, once company questions or objections regarding cloud computing are addressed (by us or others), we often get a phone call from an executive or decision maker saying, “We’re ready to go to the cloud.” With the reliability and security of cloud computing established and its promise explained, some companies are ready to embrace it like a new best friend. With objections resolved, they are ready to start reaping the benefits, pronto.

In reality, just because a company’s management is conceptually and psychologically “ready” for the cloud doesn’t mean the business is. As much as we support cloud computing and the dramatic advantage it can provide to most firms, not all business models transition well to it.

Don’t get me wrong—nearly all companies can benefit from some form of cloud computing, even if it’s just hosted email and disaster recovery. But to leverage the cloud to greatest benefit, companies need to draw a parallel between their business goals, challenges and opportunities and the technologies available in the cloud. They also need to explore their current IT state and determine their “readiness” for the move. Things such as are my applications compatible, do we have enough bandwidth or have i maximized my depreciation on our existing hardware not only can minimize cloud benefits, they can increase the risks of running your business there.

That’s where cloud assessment solutions come in. Whether it’s a purpose-built program implemented by an IT services firm like DynaSis or a brief, self-administered test from a cloud hardware or software provider, a preparedness assessment is an integral component of moving to the cloud. And, if the assessment results indicate your firm isn’t as ready as you thought, the insights you’ll gain can help you refine your plans and realign your goals.

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