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Avoid Pitfalls in Cloud for Business

Avoid Pitfalls in Cloud for Business

Common Mistakes Include Ordering Too Much Power, Wasting Resources in Off Hours

February 18, 2015

While implementing cloud can be an incredibly beneficial move for businesses, there are also many potholes to avoid on the road to savings and simplicity.

In the past, we’ve talked extensively about cloud computing, from how cloud fits into your business, to important cloud investments, as well as being responsible about cloud implementation once you’ve decided that cloud is right for you.

But it’s important to understand that although there are many benefits (see The Six Biggest Benefits of Cloud Computing), there are also many pitfalls that can lead to unintentionally wasting these resources – especially without the necessary expense controls.*

 

The DOs and DON’Ts of Cloud for Business

Managing the extra costs of cloud implementation and day-to-day cloud usage is becoming increasingly important as the technology becomes more common in the business world. Worldwide spending on public cloud services is expected to total $59.5 billion, up from $45.7 billion in 2013; meanwhile, the cloud market is expected to have a compound annual growth rate of 23% through 2017.*

According to detailed analysis of early cloud adopters including Netflix and the U.S. government (for more tips, see 4 Cloud Computing Tips for Business), experts have learned these important strategies about cloud for business:

DO keep future costs in mind during planning.

Negotiating or planning for software customization requirements should be part of any standard cloud migration strategy.

As a cautionary tale, an early adopter sought customized functionality from a vendor who wasn’t able to provide it on his schedule and thus, that company ended up paying the cloud vendor and an on-premises vendor for the functionality it required.*

DO use monitoring tools to keep tabs on wasted computing cycles.

With custom programs, businesses can track the cloud computing resources consumed by specific regions or services. This way, it’s possible to analyze the bills for cloud services and find things like underutilized servers, or servers that are running when no one is using them – making it easier to determine exactly what you need to minimize costs.

DO program software shutdowns in off-hours.

For example, Netflix engineers wrote software that automatically shut down systems at off-peak hours and could predict when to resume activity. This cut down on wasted expenses and greatly reduced costs for cloud.

DON’T order too much computing power.

Cloud is considered beneficial mostly because of simplicity and economics: consuming resources as needed is cheaper than shelling out money and maintenance budgets for a roomful of servers. At the same time, however, it’s incredibly easy for departments to tap online resources with just a company credit card.

In addition, here’s more food for thought: Experts say that about 60 percent of cloud software servers can be reduced or terminated because companies have purchased too many.

DON’T settle for less than the best.

When choosing a vendor, make sure to address important guarantees (for example: data uptime, separation of the trading firm’s data from those of other customers, and constant data encryption) that will ensure a best-in-class cloud computing system.

Experts say that, while it might take extra effort to find vendors who accommodate these needs, it is extremely important to the success of cloud in enterprises.

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* Boulton, Clint. The Hidden Waste and Expense of Cloud Computing, The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company, Inc.