What to look for when implementing cloud strategies

December 3, 2010

Obviously, with cloud computing gaining so much exposure, it can be compelling for the SMB market to want to adopt/invest in what their larger brethren have been doing for some time now. The competitive advantage of using cloud based services has been discussed “ad nauseum” in my other posts and online in general, so I’ll save that for another time. Unfortunately, when the management teams of small businesses look to follow the path of rampant cloud computing trends, they don’t possess a handbook to access when needed.

When I discovered TJ McCue’s “Small Business Guide to Cloud Computing”, I thought it was spot on.

A couple snippets include:

  • Cloud Computing Solutions are available all the time – no matter where you are. This is possibly the most exciting part of the cloud computing based technology trends.
  • Sometimes simple, focused cloud computing solutions will do the trick.
  • Make sure your cloud computing vendor is stable and reliable. This holds true for the investment community as well. As more and more VCs are looking to make investments in the cloud space, we really need to evaluate key points, such as, how many customers they have, management experience, differentiation, sales and marketing spend, etc. Potential users can and should follow the same process.
  • Your cloud computing vendor should be flexible. How fast can they scale when you need them to?
  • Do the cloud applications play nice with existing infrastructure?
  • Does the investment make sense? In other words, is a cloud offering the cheapest and best for your organization, or are you buying into the hype?

TJ discusses about 16 bullet points in all, each carrying its own importance. All should be considered and discussed internally before signing any contracts — and not just with executives either. You should consult a technical/engineering team as well, for they may be the ones dealing with poor performance, data issues (deduplication), security, etc. once a cloud strategy is in place. As TJ states, “If your tech team doesn’t know you are running certain cloud based apps, you could create a challenge in more than one functional area.”
I would urge folks to take a look at the article in more depth here and really familiarize themselves with what to think about prior to and during an implementation.


Peter Zotto is the GM at <a href="http://www.priceintelligently.com">Price Intelligently</a>. Previously he was an analyst at OpenView where he helped to identify qualified investment opportunities.