5 Questions Every CTO Should Ask Before Adopting The Cloud

    The cloud is one of the most powerful and beneficial technologies to emerge in quite some time, so it's no surprise that businesses in every industry are eager to adopt it. And while the cloud can certainly bring value to everyone eager to implement it, not all of the technology's uses are suitable for every enterprise. In order to successfully deploy a cloud platform, CTOs need to ask themselves five basic questions before they get started:

    1) Where Do I Start?

    As technology pushes its way to the forefront of the enterprise, the cloud is everywhere these days. With so many different uses and types of services, CTOs can be hesitant to invest because they don't know where to start. It's easy to get burned by trying to take on too much too quickly. The best way to dip your toes in the cloud water is by starting small – try migrating one business process to the cloud and learning the ropes there before moving on to the next project.

    One way to find a place to start an enterprise migration is by reviewing the initiatives for the year and finding the issues that can be addressed with a cloud solution. Software-as-a-Service options are often a good place to start, as they can help with a variety of infrastructure problems. By sending an enterprise infrastructure staple like communication services to the cloud, businesses can streamline operations and enhance productivity. With cloud-based access, employees are able to collaborate more effectively and focus on more important business objectives.

    2) What Benefits Does The Cloud Offer?

    The advantages of cloud computing are almost endless, but some of the most prominent ones are cost savings, scalability and agility. A good portion of cloud solutions are able to offer users as much as a 25 percent reduction in bottom line costs, CloudTweaks contributor Marc Malizia reported. On top of that, the cloud offers companies the ability to become more agile and access unlimited scaling, something that cannot be achieved effectively by internal IT teams. This enables workers to take on whatever they need now and throughout the rest of the year.

    Additionally, moving to the cloud makes it possible for IT decision-makers to empower business units instead of slowing down enterprise objectives, effectively putting control of IT back into the hands of CTOs and minimizing the occurrence of shadow IT in the company.

    3) Is The Cloud A Good Investment?

    The cloud is an ideal enterprise investment if for no other reason than it aligns with companies' top initiatives. According to Information Management's recently released list of top CIO priorities, cloud services were ranked as number two. Other areas of interest on the list included cost reduction, consolidation and disaster recovery.

    Disaster recovery programs are a perfect example of the way the cloud has decreased costs and improved service, causing DR solutions to go from big ticket items to cost-effective programs in just a few years. In many situations, a transition to a cloud environment will allow businesses to reduce server, storage and hardware costs by as much as 25 percent compared to building the same solution on premise.

    4) How Can The Cloud Impact My Role?

    One of the most prominent benefits of the cloud for CTOs is the technology's ability to elevate IT executives' positions within the C-suite. Using the cloud, CTOs can improve their role, moving from someone who implements technology to someone who drives business strategy.

    The benefits of the cloud mentioned earlier – agility, scalability and cost-effectiveness – all allow IT executives to more efficiently and effectively accommodate even the most difficult business requests. By delivering solutions in a timely and inexpensive manner, the IT department shows credibility and portrays itself as a 'can do' department as opposed to a roadblock to success.

    5) What Should I Look For In A Cloud Provider?

    Technology is a fast-paced arena and companies have to remain flexible in order to adapt and change with new trends. When choosing a cloud service provider, CTOs should look for a vendor that is willing to add value beyond their basic offerings. IT decision-makers should also determine whether or not the provider is progressive enough to deliver the next disruptive technology that emerges.

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