|By Lisa Pope||
|July 4, 2014 01:00 PM EDT||
Cloud has been on a lot of boardroom agendas for quite a while, but typically those discussions have focused on using cloud around edge applications - expenses management, human capital management or perhaps customer relationship management. However, as the cloud cover extends to business-critical processes and core activities, five new considerations for enterprise cloud deployment have arisen.
1. Your cloud should be invisible.
There should be no difference whatsoever to end users when they are faced with an application via the cloud or on-premise. This begins with the user interface, which needs to be intuitive and critically consistent across desktops, tablets and mobile devices. Much of the success of the likes of Facebook is due to the fact that the social experience is not interrupted or disrupted by the cloud behind it and that the interface is so consistent. This invisibility also applies to performance - applications delivered via the cloud must be just a quick, if not faster, than on-premise alternatives.
2. Your cloud should be vertical.
Businesses should not have to sacrifice functionality when it comes to the cloud. Applications via the cloud should be as functionally rich as the on-premise version. Complete business processes demand a complete application and users will not tolerate a lighter version of an on-premise application if it changes their role. While a migration to a cloud alternative may provide the ideal opportunity to reduce complexity, it should never be at the expense of capability.
3. Your cloud should be strategic.
The cloud provides a platform to transform your business, not just run your applications. As a strategic asset, cloud can help reduce total cost of ownership and improve flexibility across all types of businesses, but it can also be a game changer for launching new initiatives quickly. Whether that is integrating a new acquisition or establishing a joint-venture in China, leverage the cloud for growth.
4. Your cloud should be compliant, not just secure.
Of course security is non-negotiable across not just the data center but also the network and the application. But understand that security is just step one. Industry and government compliance is even more important as you evaluate cloud providers. Are you confident that you are meeting all of the external regulations, and is your provider able to keep up with the rapidly changing requirements?
5. Your cloud should have just one price tag.
The prime driver around cloud was - and remains - the fact that companies can structure technology investments as operating expenses, rather than capital expenses. However, this has now been joined by cautionary tales of those operating expenses ballooning as more seats are added and more modules are taken on. This need not be the case. You can have fixed prices to ensure cloud investment does not spiral out of control, especially for the critical early phase of migration. Businesses can, and should, have total visibility of costs associated with their cloud. Cloud should not be a financial black hole simply because it is ongoing.
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