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    How to Reap the Benefits of Cloud Solutions

    While there's little doubt that cloud computing services can benefit companies on many levels, sometimes seeing tangible benefits from the technology is easier said than done. If companies don't go all out to ensure that their cloud initiatives are successful, they might find themselves with more headaches than they expected.

    According to a new Dynamic Markets study reported by Forbes, 54 percent of IT officials experience downtime within six months of trying to integrate new cloud solutions, and 52 percent miss business deadlines because of their trouble dealing with disparate cloud apps. While the cloud can be a huge asset for companies, it's clear that some initial stumbling blocks must be overcome.

    Here are a few tips on ensuring that your cloud solutions are implemented seamlessly and you can fully enjoy the technology's benefits.

    Plan carefully
    One of the most important factors influencing the success of a cloud initiative is the careful planning that goes into it beforehand. Start by asking questions about your business and its needs. How big is your company? How complex and far-reaching will your cloud networks need to be? Which departments will be affected? Who will build your cloud systems? Who will maintain them? Who will take the reins when something goes wrong? Once you know the answers to all these questions, you'll be able to develop a comprehensive plan for budgeting and staffing your cloud services, avoiding any unforeseen problems later.

    Cut costs
    According to the communications firm Verio, one major benefit of cloud solutions is their ability to cut costs for IT departments. Once you have cloud computing services in place, you can save money on all the hardware and software you were previously using to manage your enterprise. Be sure you explore all possible ways to trim fat from your budget – cancel all software subscriptions that are no longer needed, cut down on unnecessary machinery, maybe even consider cutting staff if less personnel is needed to oversee IT.

    Embrace mobility
    The best way to fully appreciate the cloud is to access data via mobile devices. The cloud gives organizations extra flexibility, enabling workers to log on from anywhere at any time. Encourage your employees to use their tablets and smartphones for plugging into the cloud, fully capitalizing on the new tech resources at their disposal.

    The cloud can be a tremendous boon to your company, regardless of its size or influence. It's up to you to make the most of it.