What IT departments need to do to prepare for cloud adoption

Cloud computing continues to gain acceptance amongst enterprises and as a result, software vendors are working hard to meet the need.

Specifically, enterprise IT has had to address the challenges concerning security, integration with internal applications, performance, and reliability of the cloud.

With the combination of maturing platforms, generational and cultural shifts, and compelling economics, cloud-based solutions are fast becoming the undeniable choice for nearly all future non-core technology purchases. Once adopted, the cloud is inherently scalable and can be up and running within hours, designed specifically for an organisation’s needs. 

From our own research and insights into Axway customers, we predict that by 2014 the cloud will be the primary operating model for enterprise IT organisations, bringing unprecedented change to IT and a competitive advantage to early adopters. Put simply, by 2014, cloud computing will ultimately redefine the role of enterprise IT itself.

So, with cloud adoption taking off, what steps do IT departments need to take in order to prepare for the future?

1) First they need to identify what type of cloud they need – whether it is private, public or hybrid – to implement and understand how to integrate the various types of cloud, based on the their specific needs.

For example, a financial organisation handling very sensitive data would need a private cloud to ensure that the data cannot be accessed or managed by anyone else. . While other less sensitive information could be managed with public or hybrid cloud.

2) Secondly, IT departments must recognise that mobile devices play a dominant role in IT and in the future of the cloud.

As such, determining what internal applications to make compatible with mobile devices is vital. Making all internal applications compatible with mobile devices would be a waste of time and money, so IT departments should envision which applications are most likely to be used or needed while on the move are made compatible.

3) Lastly, they need to focus on data security and the management of data.

Data is accessed everywhere, at all times, so this is crucial. IT departments need full visibility into who is accessing what, where, and when. This visibility can ensure that confidential corporate data is not being passed on or accessed by third parties. In addition, with trends such as BYOD becoming increasingly popular, IT departments need to ensure they have the ability to remotely shut down devices that are lost or stolen. 

Cloud adoption has become increasingly complex and there are a number of security issues that need to be thoroughly thought through. IT departments must take steps to adequately prepare for these.

It is important that they assess their organisation’s needs in relation to which type of cloud to adopt, how they will meet their service level agreements, what enterprise application stores or marketplaces they will develop or adopt, and the service management role that the IT department will play in the adoption.

Anything less than this could cause irretrievable damage to the organisation and its reputation if confidential data is lost or stolen.

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