All too often there is an assumption that all of your applications will end up in the cloud. This is not necessarily the case; you need to determine which apps and data will have increased business value through the use of cloud computing.
In addition, how much value the cloud provides depends on the type of cloud you choose. True cloud computing for enterprises needs to be far more than an array of flexible storage and processing capacity.
Security is a prime concern. Not all clouds are equally secure. Enterprise-class security options are rarely available via the credit card cloud, where delivering cheap storage and compute are the prime concerns.
If your corporate norms require application firewalls as well as perimeter firewalls, log management and full separation of virtual environments, this should be replicated in the cloud - cost savings are of little value to the business if your data and reputation are compromised.
The life stage of your application matters. Prototyping and load testing can comfortably be completed on many types of cloud. However, if your new application cannot transition live with appropriate SLAs and within the same cloud, then the cost of migration needs to be factored into your choice of clouds.
Similarly, a cloud that matches the features of your existing infrastructure can save the cost of hardware while keeping data accessible – redesigning to fit a cloud is rarely viable.
Resource provisioning is also critical. At Savvis we deploy with clear tiers of service, performance and availability, letting IT teams choose the levels appropriate for their applications. Without visibility of how cloud resources are allocated, you cannot be sure of application performance.
Finally connectivity needs to be controllable. To extend applications to private cloud services or link to legacy data, you need to transition private data into the public cloud and have secure connections between the elements. Being able to prioritise and manage these connections is critical to a smooth transition.
So look before you leap. Working with your cloud provider to plan application and data migration can lead to the value promised by cloud computing.