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Hurdling Corporate Barriers for Cloud Services

by: Ronald Escanlar

Wednesday, April 6, 2011 |

Overcoming Challenges in the Cloud

Cloud computing entered mainstream business last year, and industry experts are predicting that the technology will mature and become more pervasive this year. From small, family-owned companies to large, multinational corporations, the “cloud” is disrupting traditional models of conducting business. 

Small companies have successfully migrated some of their processes, such as email, virtual servers, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and customer support to cloud service providers. On the other hand, large corporations, by their very nature, have been lagging behind in tapping cloud computing for their operations.

Corporate barriers are challenges that can easily be hurdled through coordination, cooperation, and communication. David England, a managing consultant with outsourcing consultancy firm Alsbridge, Inc., tells the story of sales divisions delving into cloud-based services without consulting their own IT colleagues.

In the long run, England says, cloud initiatives taken without strong collaboration, coordination, and communication among business and IT executives can lead to an inefficient use of scarce company resources. Business processes shifted to the cloud need to be integrated into the company’s IT infrastructure, and if this is not possible, then the shift to the cloud will have been in vain.

England recommends the use of a systemic methodology inspired by a company’s specific business case. Relying on a process-based shift to the cloud enables collaboration, coordination, and communication among business and IT stakeholders and ensures that the preferred cloud service is specifically tailored for their company.

Before deciding to shift services to the cloud, a company should ensure that involved personnel all have a say in creating the cloud computing plan. At the minimum, all stakeholders must have a basic understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of using cloud computing. As much as possible, too, all executives must travel the same learning curve at the same pace, since a delay can cause unneeded frustration among participants.

As with any plan, a company shifting to cloud computing needs a clear vision of itself after being cloud-enabled. Do they plan to run entirely from the cloud? Do they shift legacy applications and services to the cloud? A paradigm shift can be strenuous and stressful for an individual - more so for a corporation involving several individuals. Focusing on building the fundamental blocks of a company’s cloud computing plan facilitates a strong and smooth transition into the cloud.

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