Bearing in mind the points made in the previous chapters, you should select the provider and the service that best fit your current requirements and give you room to evolve. You are looking for a suitable, sustainable solution that gives you a financial Return on Investment and measurably high levels of performance. And remember that cloud computing is not just about saving money; it is about making money, too. Process improvements may lead to a requirement for fewer staff, while a new Customer Relationship Management system may coincide with a sales push and expansion.
There may be reasons why cloud computing is not right for a particular application in your business. Drawing on previous chapters on risks, benefits, and service provider selection, here are a number of key factors to consider:
- Is there a genuine business case for adopting a cloud computing solution?
- Do you understand the Total Cost of Ownership and the expected Return on Investment?
- Do you have a need for IT systems that scale up and down with usage or user numbers?
- Is operational expenditure preferred to capital expenditure in this case?
- Is your application not business critical, and is occasional downtime acceptable?
- Does the solution satisfy your data protection and industry compliance requirements, if any?
- Does the solution fit well with your preferred technologies, development platforms or programming languages, if any?
- Can you easily integrate the solution with your favourite desktop software or other cloud solutions?
- Are the security risks in your chosen cloud acceptably low?
- Are the application performance levels consistently acceptable?
- Is mobile or remote access to affected data and applications acceptable and beneficial to your business?
- Does the new system enable business users to be more productive and less reliant on internal IT staff?
- Can you extract all your data from the system in a structured form that preserves its meaning whenever you need to?
If the answer to any of these questions is ‘no’ then the solution may not be appropriate. If, however, you have answered
‘yes’ to all those questions you consider important then the next step is implementation.