A recent survey published by tech vendor CDW showed that while more than 80 percent of companies surveyed said they have employed some cloud-based services, most of those same companies do not identify themselves as maintaining cloud technology.
They simply use software based in the public cloud, most often a commodity application such as email (50 percent) or files storage (39 percent). (You can find a great write-up on the CDW survey and other general trends in cloud computing in a recent blog post by our Arthur Cole.)
So while much of industry chatter is about hardwire issues like managing the backbone of hybrid public/private clouds, the reality for most businesses is identifying the best opportunity for moving a business process off their network and into the public cloud.
But how do you evaluate the risks and benefits, and pick the best candidate for an early cloud rollout?
Here in the IT Downloads library, we have several tools to help you make the right decision on your initial foray into cloud computing. Here's a quick overview of two IT Downloads that will be quite useful to any company considering its first cloud initiative.
The Risk Factors for Tech Categories in the Cloud Presentation, from our partners at Toolkit Cafe, looks at 17 common cloud application categories and rates them on six key factors:
The presentation also lists key hidden costs, such as transaction fees or data volume limits, that can undermine the financial benefits that are so often part of the justification for moving to the cloud. You can see an example of an evaluation slide below.
A book excerpt entitled "Hey You, Get Onto My Cloud," by ASTADIA CTO Mike Lingos suggests that a key benefit of the cloud for medium-sized businesses, in particular, is that it frees up resources and energy for innovation for new products and business processes. The IT budget comparison chart below is an example of the useful information you'll find in this 9-page excerpt.