Cloud computing promises companies the ability to reduce traditional IT expenses, enhance operations and even turn a profit - all of which are critical for companies struggling in today's ongoing macroeconomic crisis. Unfortunately, the cloud's recent emergence means decision-makers are less familiar with the technology and therefore less comfortable taking the initiative to guarantee return on investment than they were with legacy solutions. Fortunately, there are steps companies can take to improve their odds of success.
1. Get the CIO on board
Any new technological initiative needs to start from the top. IT directors who want to convince upper management to invest in the cloud need to highlight the potential benefits of the hosted services. The chief information officer in particular must be won over, as the role is quickly merging with the chief financial officer and taking a crucial part in approving all IT spending.
When the CIO is educated about the cloud, IT directors can be sure their company only uses the appropriate amount of hosted resources, as over-provisioning the technology will not yield positive results.
2. Leverage effective management tools
In addition to getting executive backing, companies need to use advanced data and application management solutions to ensure they leverage the cloud as efficiently as possible. Because the cloud is often hosted off-site, it can be difficult to ensure employees are utilizing the same data resources. By deploying cloud-based data replication software, however, decision-makers can guarantee that the entire workforce has access to the same set of information. This will result in more efficient operations and yield a stronger return.
Businesses also need to consider implementing an agile development process for cloud-based applications, as the hosted environments provide firms with new opportunities to speed up software deployment, which can result in lower maintenance and launch expenses.
3. Keep individuals informed
Training is a critical part of any new technological deployment and the cloud is no different. If the general workforce doesn't know how to use the cloud effectively, organizations will suffer from poor productivity and unnecessary expenses - both of which make it difficult to compete with rival firms.
As the cloud continues to gain momentum in the private sector during the next several years, enterprises need to consider taking the proper precautions to ensure their use of the technology is as efficient as possible, as only then will firms be able to guarantee a substantial financial and operational return on investment.