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10 tips for evaluating a cloud solution

Cloud services can help lower costs and make your organization more agile.


The first step is to choose a cloud solution that is right for you. Cloud computing is a vast and powerful set of applications and features. There are a thousand solutions to every problem but not all of them are necessarily the most cost effective solution for every business. You have to be able to evaluate the cost effectiveness of a cloud solution. Here are some factors you should consider:

    1. Verify that the cloud solution directly addresses a business need. You need to ensure the  cloud solution you’ve selected focuses on your business requirements. If your business has collaboration issues among team members, then make sure that the cloud addresses sharing and collaboration issues.

 

    1. Focus on usability – Make sure that the cloud solution is practical and usable within your organization.

 

    1. Results from switching to cloud solution – Try a test run to see if the cloud solution will yield the needed results. Make sure that the key objectives are met without compromising any requirements.

 

    1. Determine whether the cloud solution supports existing applications without custom development. Most users in your business will be familiar with a certain kind of interface or a certain set of processes. The most effective cloud solution will be able to take these applications into the cloud with minimal or no changes. Every change will require users to adapt and learn a new process. Change management is an important part of any cloud solutions deployment, but it takes time to develop efficiency with the new solution.

 

    1. Assess whether the cloud solution aligns operating costs with business value. Cloud solutions often provide subscription plans on a per user basis, so businesses pay only for what they use. This way you can ensure operating costs of the cloud are aligned with the derived business value.

 

    1. Ensure that the cloud solution is well supported by reliable enterprises. Cloud outages are a consideration in the cloud computing market. To ensure that your enterprise is unharmed by outages, check to make sure that the cloud is well supported by reliable, reputable enterprises.

 

    1. Check for a list of established clientele for cloud solutions. Whether you are partnering with one of the major cloud services organizations (i.e. Microsoft, Google, RackSpace etc.) or with a startup firm, it is always a good idea to look at some of the organizations making use of their solutions before settling on one yourself.

 

    1. Ensure that the translation can be handled easily. To make the switch to cloud computing can require major changes to hardware and processes. Ensure that adequate resources are in place to handle the transition, or work with a deployment partner.

 

    1. Always test the deployment of a cloud solution to determine if there are any issues that need to be resolved. Cloud solutions take time to perfect and it is always better to ensure the deployment is perfect before going live.

 

    1. Determine the training required to enable your employees to transfer their existing business processes to new ones in the cloud solution. Training is a critical component of change management, and a major driving factor of user adoption.

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