In this blog, we have addressed cloud computing quite a bit. We have discussed the different types of cloud computing, reasons to move to the cloud, how to move to the cloud, why it makes sense for small business, and much more.
Recently, we ran across a white paper published by industry analyst firm IDC titled “Cloud Computing in the Midmarket: Assessing the Options in 2013”. It provides much of the same background information we have provided in previous blog entries, as well as some interesting statistics about the cloud, such as:
- In the next 12 months, about 3 in 10 midsize firms (those with 100-999 employees) plan to implement public cloud solutions and 2 in 10 midsize firms plan to add private cloud solutions.
- IDC expects small and medium-sized business (SMB) spending on cloud solutions to grow by almost 20% annually over the next five years.
In the white paper, IDC also hits on one area that we have not covered. They provide “five questions that set the stage for cloud deployment”. These key questions will help an organization determine what cloud computing capabilities are needed for their IT environment.
- To what extent are IT resources used to support company objectives? Does the organization see IT as an important strategic component that provides a competitive edge?
- How physically complicated is the company? Is the current IT infrastructure supporting multiple geographic locations? This can complicate maintenance as well as the implementation of new software and technologies.
- What is the company’s pace of organizational evolution? How much change is under way? This change could include mergers and acquisitions, new product innovations, expanding markets, etc. Being able to scale can significantly impact an organization’s IT infrastructure.
- How are mobile workers supported, and could they benefit from access to cloud-based solutions? Mobile access to important data and systems can enhance worker productivity and is becoming more widely adopted by SMBs.
- What external forces are encouraging/discouraging cloud computing adoption? A changing competitive environment and increased regulatory requirements are good examples of external considerations.
After understanding the benefits of cloud computing and the different types available, it is important to ask these critical questions before taking that step into the cloud.