Are You Cloud Bound in 2014? Some Questions to Ponder On Your Way

Cloud ComputingThe cloud! The cloud! It reminds me of Mr. Roarke’s assistant Tattoo screaming “The plane! The plane!” way back when on the ancient TV show “Fantasy Island”.

So many people are screaming about the cloud but even fewer truly know about the cloud. In other words, there is a fair amount of misinformation out there about cloud computing and it is hurting the industry, in my opinion. Having an Internet marketing background it reminds me of the same track SEO (search engine optimization) took. Anyone and everyone defined the practice to the point that it became anything and everything thus nothing.

The cloud and the concept of the cloud is heading in the same direction. Why? Because it is not the same thing delivered in the same way from every company. In fact, the differences from one provider to the next can be stark.

Here are a few things I think that anyone considering the cloud must seriously look at and determine just how important it is to their particular company and the very specific situation that is there’s and there’s alone.

1. Is what you are putting in the cloud a dev or production environment?

2. How important is the underlying infrastructure to your decision? Do you need to know that the hardware is something your board of directors wouldn’t balk at?

3. What are your compliance needs? HIPAA/HITECH? PCI? SOC 1,2,3? The list goes on.

4. What level of support is available?

5. With variable billing could you possibly get the ‘mother of all bills” that would kill your budget?

6. What applications are you running in the cloud and what are the licensing implications?

7. How will you be accessing the cloud environment? Do you have the bandwidth requirements and redundancy etc?

8. What about disaster recovery? What is your providers plan? What are your plans?

There are a million other questions to ask and many will be specific to your environment. if I could warn in any way, I would say that you can never ask too many questions and when it comes to the cloud there is truly not one dumb question.